Lung disease is characterized by the inability to breathe — that most basic of all human biological functions. People with lung disease are likely to experience shortness of breath, chronic cough and exhaustion. If the condition is severe and untreated, the patient eventually will die.
Lung transplantation for patients with severe diseases of the lung — such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and pulmonary hypertension — is considered only after all other treatments have failed. In some cases, congenital heart disease may cause advanced lung disease, requiring repair of these heart defects at the time of lung transplantation.
For a lung transplant to happen, two things must occur. First, the patient must be eligible for the transplant. Second, a suitable donor organ must be available.
At UCSF Medical Center, the Lung Transplant Program has performed more than 340 transplants, mostly bi-lateral, since the program began in 1991. The program is recognized for accepting patients with challenging, complex conditions, often patients who are turned away at other medical centers. Despite the difficult health issues, the survival rate for patients at UCSF is higher than the national average, according to data compiled by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Awards & recognition
Best in Northern California for pulmonology and lung surgery
Ranked No. 8 in the nation for pulmonology and lung surgery
in the U.S. for patient survival rates one and three years after lung transplant