Lung Transplant Options and Waiting List

What kinds of diseases can lead to the need for a lung transplant?

Cystic fibrosis and emphysema are among the most common conditions that can lead to the need for a lung transplant. Other diseases include pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, eosinophilic granuloma, multiple arteriovenous malformation and others.

Would I need a single or double lung transplant?

That depends on the cause of your lung disease and other factors. For example, patients with pulmonary hypertension or cystic fibrosis usually need a double lung transplant while patients with emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis might only need a single lung transplant. Double lung transplants are sometimes preferred because of the increased chances of long-term survival.

What is the best age for a transplant?

The best age for a transplant is under 65. Generally, patients beyond age 65 have an increased mortality rate. Before being placed on the waiting list for a transplant, each patient needs to be carefully screened for other factors or conditions that might make transplant risky or impossible and to determine if alternative treatments might be better.

How are patients put on the waiting list for a lung transplant?

The listing process has changed nationally, and it’s now based on a patient’s medical condition and not generally how long he or she has been on the list. Everyone is evaluated and assigned a score nationally based on a total picture of their condition and how urgently a transplant is needed.

Are new treatment options coming?

Some experimental treatments are being explored that could provide viable treatments in the future. The physicians at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin are dedicated to keeping abreast of all options and helping patients make well-informed decisions.


For transplant:

  • 414-805-3666
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Transplant Center, Froedtert Hospital 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53226