A person's eligibility for a lung transplant depends on factors such as life expectancy without the procedure, WebMD states. Transplants are reserved for patients with severe end-stage lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or debilitating conditions that interfere with quality of life, such as cystic fibrosis. However, doctors may rule out a transplant for patients with conflicting health conditions, psychological drawbacks or lack of family or financial support for rehabilitation, advises the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.Continue Reading
Even when a patient needs a lung transplant, a doctor may not approve the procedure if the patient has a history of serious infections, cancer or heart, kidney or liver disease, according to WebMD. A history of drug, alcohol or tobacco abuse may be a disqualifying factor, and doctors are also reluctant to consider seniors over age 60 for candidacy. Transplant teams use a Lung Allocation Score to determine a candidate’s ranking on the donor list, and one important factor is a patient’s estimated life expectancy after transplant surgery.
Lung transplant candidates are referred to a transplant team that performs several stages of evaluation before ultimately approving the patient for the donor list, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes. The team usually includes a coordinator who oversees the entire process along with various specialists, such as a pulmonologist, thoracic surgeon, immunologist and cardiologist. Patients may also work with social workers, financial coordinators and nutritionists to make sure they are mentally, physically and financially prepared to undergo surgery.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases