Most lung diseases that cause serious and long lasting damage , involve both lung in equal measure . They damage the lung architecture extensively, thereby destroying the fundamental gas exchange mechanism . Many infective lung conditions alternatively, may be selective in their disease distribution and thereby extent of lung damage .A double lung transplant is required when a pair of lungs are irreversibly damaged .Infective lung conditions such as bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis always require a double lung transplant. Some of the common conditions that require a double lung transplant include:
- 1. Pulmonary Fibrosis
- 2. Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and other types of pulmonary vascular disease
- 3. Interstitial Lung Disease
- 4. Cystic Fibrosis
- 5. Pulmonary hypertension with heart defects that can be surgically repaired
- 6. Surfactant Deficiency (due to ABCA3 mutations)
- 7. Surfactant Protein B and Surfactant Protein C Deficiency
- 8. Alveolar Proteinosis
In each of these conditions the patient suffers from an extreme poor quality of life. This is due to the difficulty of breathing, excessive fatigue, supplemental oxygen dependence, secondary organ dysfunction and increasing inability to carry out the daily activities. Some of the above diseases are multisystem in nature and impact other organs that can be either partially involved and are curable with therapy or reverse following lung transplantation. A few of these conditions may need supplemental therapy and lifelong medications or additional testing, monitoring and interventions by respective physicians. Rarely some of these conditions may irreversibly damage organs such as the heart, kidney, liver or pancreas in which case a combined or sequential multi organ transplant becomes necessary. Our physicians work closely with other medical colleagues and specialists to gauge the true extent of your ailment and tailor your therapy and make scientific recommendations based on these tests and reports.
A patient undergoing a lung transplant can seek a dual heart and lung transplant should he be suffering from - pulmonary hypertension with structural heart defects that cannot be surgically repaired; or have severe heart failure alongside conditions a lung failure. A combined transplant is advisable given that just undergoing a lung transplant may not sufficiently rectify the patient's condition. Also, in due course the patient may require a standalone heart transplant procedure. Thus, in certain plausible causes, your lung transplant surgeon will suggest a combined heart-lung transplant to improve your quality of life and give you better result than just a lung transplant would do. A combined surgery also reduces the cost, inconvenience and hospitalization required for two transplant procedures. The organs can be harvested at the same time and the patient can simultaneously recuperate from both surgeries together. The procedure has been a very successful one, with over 50% of the patients having a 2 to 5 year survival rate and 1 in every 4 patients living well beyond 10 years. These statistics have been gradually improving; and with better care & determination will improve substantially for individual patients.