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The Lung Transplant Process

At the University of Chicago Medicine, our transplant team will be with you every step of the way. From your first phone call, we will guide you through evaluation, treatment and follow-up care to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. We have an intake center dedicated just to transplant candidates. Our transplant coordinators work on your behalf to arrange clinic visits and to ensure a smooth transition into our program before you even have your first appointment.

Ex vivo lung perfusion increases number of donor lungs for transplant

One phone call is all it takes to being the process. When you call us, a transplant intake specialist will walk you through the next steps, coordinating everything you need to do.

The general steps are:

  1. Evaluation
  2. Waitlist
  3. Transplantation
  4. Recovery

Treatment is different for every patient, but there are some steps in the process that will be similar for everyone. For example:

  • Our team of dedicated physicians and nurses will see you through a complete medical evaluation to determine if lung transplant is a safe option for you and your individual medical issues.
  • If we can recommend for you to be a candidate for transplant, your name will be added to the national waiting list for transplant with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) until a matching organ is made available.
  • When a suitable organ becomes available, our team will contact you and provide instructions for coming in for your transplant.
  • After the surgery, you will spend time in the hospital. The amount of time is variable for such complex procedures, but most recipients progress well within a week. Once you go home, you will begin a series of outpatient clinic appointments to manage your health as a lung transplant recipient. We will provide personal instructions and printed guides to help you understand when and how often to take your medications and how best to keep healthy after transplant.
  • Our financial coordinators will help coordinate your benefits and will counsel you about any potential cost of transplant and post-operative care.
  • Receiving a transplant is not just a procedure—it is a way of life, and we assist in any way we can, along with all of our allied professionals.