Respiratory disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring), interstitial lung diseases (ILD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can make it difficult to breathe. Lack of oxygen is hard on your brain, heart and other organs. If lung disease jeopardizes your life, you may need to consider a lung transplant evaluation.
You can feel confident about choosing UNC Medical Center. We are home to one of the country’s most established and experienced lung transplant programs. Our team has performed more than 500 single and double lung transplants since 1989, giving us a great depth of experience.
Lung Transplants at UNC Medical Center: Why Choose Us?
At UNC Medical Center, our goal is to help you breathe easier. You receive the highest level of care from nationally renowned lung transplant experts.
We offer you:
- A record of excellence: The recipient of our first double lung transplant, which took place in 1990, is the longest-surviving double lung transplant patient in the country.
- Advanced pulmonary care: To boost the chances of transplant success, your care team partners with pulmonary specialists at UNC Medical Center. This program is nationally recognized for advanced lung disease care. Our lung transplant program is also a Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center, a reflection of our history of successful transplants.
- Cystic fibrosis expertise: We are home to one of the world’s largest lung transplant programs for people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease. Our team has performed more than 200 double lung transplants to treat cystic fibrosis.
- High-risk patient program: We believe everyone should have a chance to be considered for a lifesaving lung transplant. If you have a weight problem or you need medications to aid breathing, our Early-Staged Transplant Education Program (ESTEP) helps you take the necessary steps to become transplant eligible. Find out more about ESTEP and getting a lung transplant.
- Groundbreaking research: Our experts are committed to finding new ways to treat lung disease and improve transplant outcomes. We were one of a select few centers nationwide to participate in a clinical trial for ex-vivo lung perfusion. This innovative technique ventilates lungs while they are outside of a donor’s body, helping the lungs stay viable for transplant longer.
- Multiple-organ transplants: Our team has the expertise to perform lung-heart, lung-liver, and lung-kidney transplants.
Lung Transplant Services
A lung transplant is a complex procedure. After surgery, you must remain close to the hospital for three months and in some cases longer for frequent monitoring. Our goal is to prevent, detect and treat complications quickly.
To make your transplant and recovery as stress-free as possible, we offer these services:
- Dedicated patient support team to help with accommodations, insurance and other resources
- Transplant coordinators available 24/7 to answer questions and provide guidance
- Educational classes to help you and your loved ones understand and prepare for surgery and recovery
- Pulmonary rehabilitation clinic to help you get stronger before a transplant and aid your post-transplant recovery
- Cardiothoracic operating rooms equipped for lung transplant surgery
- Transplant-specific intensive care unit staffed by nurses who have advanced training in pulmonology and lung transplants
- Pulmonary Specialty Clinic and Jason Ray Transplant Clinic for pre- and post-transplant medical needs
Pediatric Lung Transplants
Children born with certain lung ailments, such as cystic fibrosis, may need a lung transplant. The idea of such a big procedure on a little body can be distressing.
You can have confidence in us. We are the only medical center in the state performing pediatric lung transplants, so our specialists are highly skilled. We are also experts at combination pediatric heart and lung transplants. When your child is ready to move into the adult lung transplant program, we help guide the seamless transition.