When you begin the pre-lung transplant process at UPMC a transplant coordinator will be assigned to you. He or she will guide you through each step of the process, including a series of lung transplant tests.
To determine your candidacy for lung transplant evaluation, the transplant team will:
When these steps have been cleared, your evaluation may be scheduled.
Your lung transplant team will help you with all aspects of transplant, including the:
Your care team includes:
The outpatient transplant evaluation takes up to a week to complete. It always begins on a Monday, with an educational class.
You are required to bring a caregiver with you to each appointment. This person must meet with the transplant team and understand his or her role before, during, and after your lung transplant.
During your pre-lung transplant evaluation, you will have a range of exams including:
You and your caregiver must also attend a pre-lung transplant education class. This class reviews the risks, benefits, and expectations of receiving a lung transplant.
Lung transplant assessments you may need include:
These tests will provide comprehensive data for the lung transplant team to assess the function of your heart, lungs and other body systems to determine if you are a candidate for transplant.
Whenever possible, the transplant team will look for other ways to treat your lung failure and avoid performing a lung transplant too early.
Your test results will be reviewed by the lung transplant selection committee.They will decide if you're an eligible candidate for listing on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) lung transplant waiting list. Prior to being placed on the list your insurance company has to provide approval.
Insurance companies may require additional documentation (Health Maintenance). Once your insurance is confirmed, your coordinator will discuss timing of listing on UNOS.
You must be nicotine free for 6 months before we can place you on the wait list.
Wait times for a donor lung vary. While on the lung transplant wait list, you:
You will be cared for through UPMC's Comprehensive Lung Center. You should also be seeing your local pulmonologist to continue with medical care.
UPMC has a successful history of using ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) as a bridge to lung transplant.
ECMO is a machine that will oxygenate and purify your blood outside your body. This takes the stress off your heart and lungs and gives them a chance to rest and heal.
The transplant team is here for you throughout the transplant process. Do not hesitate to call the Cardiothoracic Transplant office at 412-648-6202 or toll free at 844-548-4591for additional information.