People facing a lung transplant often have questions about the process. The following is a list of some of the most common questions and their answers. 

How will I know if I am listed for lung transplantation?

The results of your evaluation are presented at a team conference within two weeks following your evaluation. The team members who evaluated you as well as the surgeons and medical consultants are present at the conference.

It is determined whether or not transplantation is a safe and possible option for you during the meeting and a plan of care is designed for you.

When your evaluation testing is arranged, you are also scheduled for a follow-up appointment to meet with the transplant pulmonologist and nurse practitioner. At the follow-up they discuss the results of your evaluation and if you may be listed for transplant. Additionally, the team may make recommendations to help you better manage your health while you prepare for transplant.

What if I am not a candidate for lung transplant?

Lung transplantation is not an option for everyone. Sometimes the risk associated with transplant outweighs the benefit. The team at Penn Medicine is experienced in caring for a range of patients with end-stage lung disease, and may be able to offer you other treatment options to help improve your quality of life. If transplantation is not the best option for you, you have the option of continuing your relationship with the advanced lung disease program at Penn, where other treatments may be appropriate for you. These treatments may include:

  • New medical therapies
  • Participation in clinical trials
  • Improved methods of delivering oxygen
  • Vasodilator therapy for pulmonary hypertension
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Noninvasive mechanical ventilation (Bi-Pap, CPAP)

Can I be listed for lung transplant at more than one center?

Yes, you have the right to be listed for transplant at different centers provided that the centers are in different regions. If you are interested in pursuing this option, please tell your lung transplant coordinator. The office can facilitate your referral by sending pertinent records from your evaluation to the center of your choice.

What is ex vivo lung perfusion?

Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a procedure used to minimize swelling in donor lungs in an effort to make them suitable for transplantation. Penn is a national leader in this technology designed to help more patients get transplanted safely.

Learn more about the EVLP procedure.

What do I do if I have concerns about the lung allocation process or about the Lung Transplant Program at Penn?

To express concerns about the lung allocation system, ask questions about national transplant-related data or if you feel the need to file a grievance, you may contact the UNOS/Organ Transplant Procurement Network (OPTN) patient hotline at 888-TX-INFO-1 (888-894-6361). If you have a concern related to the care you have received at Penn Medicine, please discuss it with your doctor or nurse practitioner if you're comfortable. If not, please contact the administrator of the Penn Transplant Institute.

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