Patients are considered for lung transplantation when their lung disease cannot be significantly improved by either medical therapy or surgery and there is a high probability of death. In some cases, the lung disease may also severely affect the function of the heart. 

Three Options for Lung Transplantation

  • Single lung transplantation (replacement of one lung)
  • Double lung transplantation (replacement of both lungs)
  • Heart-lung transplantation (replacement of both lungs and the heart)

The type of transplant operation which is chosen depends on the specific type of lung disease and the patient's heart function.

Indications for single lung transplantation

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension

This type of transplant is done only if somatic growth is nearly complete and the single lung offered is of perfect size and health.

Indications for double lung transplantation (also called bilateral single lung transplantation)

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension and other types of pulmonary vascular disease
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension with structural heart defect(s) amenable to surgical repair
  • Surfactant B protein deficiency
  • Alveolar proteinosis
  • Bronchiolitis obliterans

Common indications for a combined heart-lung transplantation

  • Pulmonary hypertension with structural heart defect(s) not amenable to surgical repair
  • Patients with severe heart failure involving the left ventricle (main pumping chamber) in conjunction with the lung disease due to any of the conditions listed above