You and your family members may find it confusing and frightening to learn you may be in need of a transplant. We understand that you will have questions. That is why we have a designated transplant team member who is available to talk with you about your disease, various treatment options and which options are best suited to treat your disease. In addition, our team of doctors, nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers and others are available to provide you with care and support throughout the transplant process, during your hospital stay and even after you return home.
The following guides will help to explain the transplant process, along with the benefits, risks and various procedures involved with receiving a lung transplant.
First established in 1995, Nebraska Medicine offered a comprehensive lung transplant program which remained in operation until 1998. Reignited in 2015, the program makes Nebraska Medicine one of the few institutions in the country to offer all solid organ transplants under one roof.
Our lung transplant team offers patients renowned specialists, exceptional care and support from pre-evaluation to long-term follow-up care. Lung patients benefit from Nebraska Medicine's multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians, respiratory therapists, psychologists, social workers, dietitians and nurses. These professionals guide the patients through a comprehensive process and provide extraordinary care to patients and their families. If you want to speak with someone before filling out the referral form below, please call 402.559.8529.
- What to Expect During Your Lung Transplant Evaluation
- How the Lung Transplant Waiting List Works
- What to Expect During Your Lung Transplant Operation
- Common Signs & Symptoms Your Body is Rejecting the Lung
- Lung Transplant Care After You Head Home
- Lung Transplant Team
- Adult Extracorporeal Life Support Guide
- External Resources Nebraska Medicine's Lung Transplant Team Recommends
Nebraska Medicine's Lung Transplant Program offers several types of transplant options for patients of all ages with lung dysfunction:
- Single lung transplantation in which only one lung is transplanted
- Double lung transplantation in which both lungs are transplanted
- Heart-lung transplants
Are You a Candidate for a Lung Transplant?
Candidates for a lung transplant often are people who have been diagnosed with:
- Cystic fibrosis (CF)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lung)
- Pulmonary hypertension (PAH or PPH increased pressure in the arteries of the lungs)
- Heart disease or heart defects affecting the lungs (may require a heart-lung transplant)
- Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
A lung transplant is recommended when medical therapies have been maximized but severe dysfunction remains which significantly impacts quality of life and life expectancy. It is not recommended for milder forms of the disease, when severe disease affects multiple organ systems or as a treatment for lung cancer.
See How We Rate Compared With Other Lung Treatment Programs:
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) is an ever-expanding national database of transplantation statistics. Founded in 1987, the registry exists to support the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation, including kidney, heart, liver, lung, intestine, and pancreas. Data in the registry are collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) from hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country.
Our Involvement in Lung Transplant Research
Our mission at Nebraska Medicine is not only to provide the best possible patient care but also to increase medical knowledge about diseases and treatments in order to aide patients in the future. Our lung transplant team has a deep-rooted interest in improving the understanding of end-stage lung disease and lung transplantation. Gathering accurate information, and human tissue wherever possible, is essential to expand our knowledge. We have established data and tissue banks to capture information/tissue in an ongoing manner. We expect that these banks will develop over time into a strong asset that will enable numerous research projects and contribute to knowledge in the field. We ask potential lung transplant recipients if they wish to participate in this ongoing effort. You will receive our best medical care regardless of participation in the research effort.
Answers to Common Questions We Receive about Lung Transplants:
How long will it take to get an appointment?
Referrals for lung transplant evaluation are scheduled after medical records have been received from the patient’s lung doctor and primary care doctor. To get an appointment sooner, contact your doctors to have them send your records to Nebraska Medicine, Attn: Lung Transplant Program. Our fax number is 402.559.9860.
If my doctor sends a referral, does that mean I will be evaluated for a lung transplant?
We will review records and have a consultation with any person who is interested in a lung transplant. We may ask you to come for an initial consultation rather than a complete lung transplant evaluation in order to review your lung disease, general health, and options for treatment first.
Does everyone who gets evaluated for a lung transplant get listed for one?
We want to make sure that our patients and their families have the best possible lung transplant outcome. That means that some people who are referred to us will not be eligible for a lung transplant for a variety of reasons. If you come for a complete evaluation, the lung transplant team will review your case and your specialist will talk to you about the best treatment plan which may or may not include being listed for lung transplant based on nationally and internally excepted guidelines.
If I get a lung transplant, does that mean I’m cured from my lung problems?
Someone who goes through a lung transplant will tell you that you’re not getting rid of your lung disease. You are trading one situation for another. After a transplant, you will have medicines that you have to take for the rest of your life. You will have to go to the doctor more often and you will get sick more easily than you do now. For some people it is worth it. The decision to get a lung transplant is a personal one. Not everyone who gets evaluated for a transplant decides they actually want one. These are things that you can talk about with the transplant team during the evaluation process.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a lung transplant depends on many things. The team at Nebraska Medicine will work with you to make sure that there is a way to pay for your medical care before and after your transplant. Lung transplant medicines are very expensive. It is a good idea to look at your finances before you come for your evaluation. During your evaluation, you will meet with a financial counselor to talk about finances, insurance and what costs you should expect.