Surgical Options for Chronic Lung Disease
Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
This is specifically for people with emphysema. The surgeon removes the part of each lung that is most severely affected by emphysema. The purpose is to remove the most overinflated portions of the lungs to allow the more normal parts to function better.
Removal of Part or All of One Lung
This is specifically for people with NTM to remove the part of the lung damaged by infection.
A lung transplant is recommended when a person has lung damage that has progressed beyond the early and middle stages and cannot be improved with treatment. This is done in some people with COPD or ILD. During this surgery, the damaged lung is removed and a donated lung is put in its place. Depending on the age of the person receiving the new lung and the type of lung disease, either one or both lungs are removed and replaced. A heart/lung transplant may be needed in some cases.
After lung or heart transplantation, special medications are required, these are:
- Immunosuppressants—People who receive a new lung are given medications to suppress the immune system so it won’t attack the new lung, thinking it is a foreign invader like a virus or bacterial infection.
- Antibiotics—These drugs are given because people taking immunosuppressants are more prone to infection.
- Anti-viral medications—These are given to prevent viruses.
- Vitamins and minerals—Given to improve general health.