Lung transplantation is a surgical procedure in which a patient's diseased lungs are replaced by healthier lungs from a donor. Lung transplantation is the treatment of last resort for patients with end-stage lung disease who have not shown improvement as a result of any other available treatment modalities. There are three distinct types of lung transplantation:
- Single-lung: This type of procedure involves the transplantation of a single healthy lung from the donor to the recipient.
- Double-lung: This refers to the transplantation of two healthy lungs and is frequently performed for cystic fibrosis patients.
- Heart-lung: This involves the transplantation of both lungs and the heart and is available for patients with severe cardiac disease as well as end-stage lung disease.
The lung transplantation program at The University of Colorado was initiated in 1991 and the first lung transplant took place in February 1992. Since its inception, the lung transplant team at The University of Colorado has performed over 450 transplants.
Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP)
In 2011, thoracic surgeons at The University of Colorado School of Medicine began participating in a clinical trial evaluating a new technique to repair donor lungs that might have otherwise been unsuitable for transplantation. The University of Colorado School of Medicine is one of four sites in the United States where this clinical trial is being conducted. The trial involves and "Ex-Vivo" (outside the body) method of perfusing, or pumping, a special solution containing oxygen and nutrients through the donor lung. In some lungs, this perfusion process can lead to tissue repair and improved lung function making the organ suitable for transplantation.
Our surgeons who perform this procedure