Is a Lung Transplant an Option for a Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease where the tissues in the lungs become hard and stiff, causing respiratory difficulties.

MORE: The treatment options for pulmonary fibrosis patients. 

There is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), but there are treatments that can slow down the progression of the disease and help patients manage their symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, the only treatment option left for some PF patients will be a lung transplant.

According to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, approximately 2,000 lung transplant procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2015, and half of those were for pulmonary fibrosis patients. However, lungs are in short supply and many pulmonary fibrosis patients don’t live long enough to receive a pair of suitable lungs.

Those placed on the waiting list for new lungs will be given a priority score between zero and 100; the higher the score, the higher up the waiting list a patient will be placed. Typically, pulmonary fibrosis patients score between 35 and 50, although their score will go up if their health deteriorates.

There are many risks that come with lung transplants. Around 90 percent of lung transplant patients live for a year after the procedure, but this figure falls to 25 percent over 10 years. Many succumb to infection or their body rejects their new organ. Those who have a successful transplant will have to take antirejection drugs for the rest of their life.

MORE: Learn more about having a lung transplant when you have pulmonary fibrosis.

Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

One comment

  1. John Dorn says:

    I find this to be a very negative article regarding transplant. You point out all the negatives about transplant, but no positives. While it may be true that only 25% of transplant receivers live 10 years, anyone who is sick enough to be accepted for a transplant also has a very low chance of living 10 years. I’m choosing to try to live my last years free of oxygen tanks and concentrators.
    Also, you said that lungs “are in short supply.” I do not believ that is true since the program that I am in has an average wait time 15 days once you get on the list.

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