The Lung Transplant Program at Froedtert Hospital offers exceptional, high-quality care with an emphasis on personalized attention and long-term survival. Our highly experienced, multidisciplinary team designs comprehensive treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs. We care for the whole patient and understand that the treatment you receive before and after your transplant plays a vital role in your long-term well-being.
We treat all forms of lung disease with a wide array of treatment options, including lung transplant. As an academic medical center, we offer the latest treatments and can help you consider all of the options available to you. We assess each patient to determine if a transplant might be necessary or if other courses of treatment are more suitable. Even if you’ve been told a lung transplant is your only option, we can offer a second opinion on whether you might benefit from other treatment approaches.
Lung Transplant Survival Outcomes
The Froedtert Hospital Lung Transplant Program has a history of excellence in survival outcomes. To review our lung transplant survival rate and compare it with lung transplant outcomes across the country, please visit the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).
Multidisciplinary Approach and Continuity of Care
Our pulmonary and critical care physicians have broad experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with advanced lung disease, and they remain closely involved in the care of patients after a transplant.
We are also committed to offering personalized care and tailoring leading-edge treatment to meet each patient’s needs. We were the first center in the state to use a small, highly portable heart-lung machine to support a patient’s blood circulation and/or lung function outside the body for several hours. This innovative equipment increases flexibility and safety while patients are being transported to our hospital for a lung transplant. Its remarkable portability also allows patients to walk around and begin rehabilitation while on heart and lung support. In addition, our team is highly experienced in the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Our ECMO Program is designated as a Center on Path to Excellence in Life Support by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).
Careful Evaluation for All Patients
Our specialized team treats and evaluates advanced lung disease. We know that not every patient will need a transplant, and some may not be eligible.
Each patient needs to be carefully evaluated and assessed before any treatment decisions can be made. We’re pleased to perform those assessments for patients with questions about their course of treatment. Because our program is part of an academic medical center, we are committed to offering a broad spectrum of options for treating advanced lung disease and to offering careful evaluation and comprehensive care.
If lung transplant is determined to be the best option, patients who list at Froedtert Hospital benefit from a program that utilizes the latest technology to make more donor lungs available locally. This may include utilizing the TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS) for lung preservation. The OCS™ Lung System is a portable perfusion, ventilation and monitoring system that keeps the donor lungs viable for transplant longer, allowing our team to travel greater distances for donor lungs.
In our Transplant Center, we perform single and double lung transplants, with double lung transplants accounting for most of our cases. In situations where a single lung transplant may be adequate, a double lung transplant may still be done because of the better survival rates generally found with double lung transplants.
Lung Volume Reduction
In addition to lung transplant, our team offers additional advanced options to treat lung disease. For patients with emphysema, minimally invasive bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) may be an option. During a BLVR procedure, small endobronchial valves are placed in the diseased parts of the lungs to help the healthier parts of the lung expand. Our team was one of the first in the state to offer this innovative treatment for patients with emphysema.
If BLVR is not an option, we also perform surgical lung volume reduction. This procedure removes certain damaged portions of the patient’s lung, helping the lung become more efficient. It can significantly improve the patient’s health and reduce feelings of breathlessness. For some patients, lung volume reduction surgery can be done instead of a lung transplant.
International PatientsWe are here to help international patients arrange for their care at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Lung Transplant FAQ and Resources
What kinds of diseases can lead to the need for a lung transplant?
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis (CF), emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) are among the most common conditions that can lead to the need for a lung transplant. Other diseases include pulmonary hypertension, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, eosinophilic granuloma, sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis.
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 will need a double lung transplant while patients with emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis might only need a single lung transplant. Double lung transplants are preferred, when possible, because they increase the chances of long-term survival.
What is the best age for a transplant?
The best age for a transplant is younger than 65. Generally, patients older than age 65 have an increased mortality risk. 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 waiting for a donor lung prioritized?
The lung allocation process is led by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The process is based on a patient’s medical condition and not on how long he or she has been waiting for a donor lung. Everyone is evaluated and assigned a national lung allocation system score (LAS score) based on a total picture of their condition and how urgently a transplant is needed.
Where can I get more information?
- United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) – Provides access to various national, regional, state and center-specific data reports and information about the lung allocation process.
- Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) – National and local transplant center data.
- Transplant Living – A patient education site sponsored by UNOS to inform about life before and after transplant.
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients – Generates reports to compare survival rates of heart transplant facilities across the country
- Visit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin to learn more about our Transplant Center partners.