IPF may progress despite therapy. If this happens, lung transplantation may be an option for you.
Lung transplant surgery replaces one or two diseased lungs with healthy lungs from a non-living donor. With improved surgical techniques and post-transplant care, this may offer you improved quality of life and longer survival. IPF doesn’t recur in transplanted lungs.
Lung transplantation is only performed at specialty medical centers. Your health care team may determine that lung transplant is the best option for you and that you are healthy enough for surgery. After an extensive evaluation, appropriate candidates are placed on a waiting list. A position on the waiting list is determined by disease severity. Wait times vary from transplant center to transplant center.
After a lung transplant, people need to take anti-rejection medicines for the rest of their lives to help prevent the body from rejecting the new lungs. These medicines can cause complications, including infection. Having emotional support is an important part of recovering and staying healthy after lung transplant surgery.