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End stage COPD, advised Bi-lateral lung transplant. Can a person survive on one lung?

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Practicing since : 2003
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My wife is 70 years old with end stage emphyzema/ COPD She has been listed for a Bi-Lateral lung transplant. We were just asked about being listed for a single lung transplant that might lessen the wait time. We want to know can a person quality of life be as good with only one lung?
Posted Tue, 15 Oct 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Ideally bilateral lung transplant is indicated.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for posting the query on XXXXXXX After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. Considering the diagnosis of end stage COPD in 70 yr old patient with no apparent co morbid condition, Bilateral lung transplant is the ideal option.

2. One lung transplant will offer some improvement over her current state but the improvement should be more marked with bi lateral lung transplant. However having said that it all depends on the availability of donor lungs and definitely waiting for a single lung transplant will take less time. Please be practical about the quality of life post lung transplant considering her age and the fact that she will be on Immunosuppresant drugs. Thus only her age factor is a bit worrying for me as secondary infections / side effects of immunosuppression need to be borne in mind. Having said that one lung transplant will definitely help improve her work of breathing and thus decrease her oxygen requirements. It should result in improved quality of life compared to the present.

3. You can freely discuss these issues with the lung transplant physician if available at the center.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
Consultant Pulmonologist
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