Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension
Deciding whether transplant is right for you is a process that will involve your team of medical professionals. Most candidates experience a significant waiting time between becoming listed and receiving a transplant since there are more transplant candidates than there are donor organs. This information is meant to help you understand the process of listing and answer your questions about the steps that occur before transplant.
Choosing a Transplant Center
When you and your medical team have decided that it is time for you to go on the transplant waitlist, you will begin working with a transplant team to register and prepare for transplant. Your transplant team will be part of your transplant center. Choosing a transplant center is an important part of preparing for transplant. You should look for a center with an experienced team, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Learn more about choosing a transplant center
The Lung Allocation Score
Once you have a transplant team, your priority for transplant must be established. This priority is calculated using the Lung Allocation Score (LAS). All lung transplant candidates ages 12 and up receive a lung allocation score from 0-100 with a higher score reflecting a higher priority for transplant. The LAS will take into account severity of disease and potential for post-transplant success. Learn more about the Lung Allocation Score
The Emotional Impact of Listing
The process of getting listed for transplant and the wait that follows can be extremely stressful for you and your family. Many emotions may arise following the decision to be listed for transplant and while waiting to get the call that organs are available for you. It is normal to feel stressed and emotional during this time. It is important that you are open about your feelings and concerns and have a strong support system to discuss them with. Learn more about the emotional impact of listing
Now That I’m Listed, What’s the Next Step?
Unfortunately, the next step is waiting. It is extremely important that your transplant team be able to contact you while you are waiting for an organ to become available. The waiting period is a good time for you to make sure that you are in the best mental and physical shape possible to increase your chances of transplant success. Your physician will be able to advise you on what type of nutrition and exercise is best for you. During the waiting period, you may also consider making legal preparations including an advanced directive and durable power of attorney. Learn more about the steps after getting listed
Financing a Lung Transplant
Lung transplants can be a great financial burden. There are many costs associated with the transplant process from pre-transplant evaluations to surgery and follow-up care. Patients typically fund their transplants through several sources of funding including private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, advocacy groups and charitable organizations. Learn more about financing a lung transplant
Getting the Call
When a donor organ becomes available, the hospital contacts the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), which works with hospitals to identify potential organ donors and to find medically suitable transplant recipients. If you have priority over the other candidates in your area, you will be called to come to your transplant center and will need to arrive at the center within a few hours. Once you arrive at the center, you will undergo a pre-operative work up. Sometimes, transplant candidates will arrive at the hospital and undergo pre-operative tests only to have transplant canceled due to deterioration of the donor lungs. Though a false alarm can be extremely frustrating, it does not affect your LAS or physical capacity to undergo a future transplant. Learn more about getting the call