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Old 09-13-2007, 01:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
Emeraldeyes HB User
Questions on Lung Transplants

Hi everyone:

I am new posting on this board. My husband is 59 yrs old. He has been diagnosed with COPD. He has lived with this for a long time. He has had all the tests to rule out heart disease. He will be getting a ct scan next week.
Many years ago he had a collapsed lung and ended up having part of his lung cut off because of having bleebs (which he still does). The doctor thinks the area that he had surgery on might be causing a problem. He is presently on straveda, advir and albuterol. The only thing that really helps is the albuterol. He has shown very minor improvement on the straveda. He has only been on the straveda for 6 weeks.

I am really scared because the doctor suggested a lung transplant. He is wanting to get him on the list because of his age. He says when you reach a certain age they will not take you. He is thinking if the condition worsens at least his name will be on the list. If he waits to see what happens in a couple of years then it will be too late.

My concern is that he is pushing this issue. We are realistic and realize he will never have the lungs he once had. We know there is no cure for this.
He says unless he has a lung transplant he will not have a quality of life like before. From my research lung transplants should be your last resource....with only 3-5 years life expectancy. Also even if you have the transplant you still will not have the life quality prior to this disease. You will also be facing additional issues of organ rejection and infections. I feel like he is not telling the truth or trying to paint a rosy red picture that once you have this transplant done it will be wonderful.

Am I wrong thinking this way about the doctor? I am wondering if this is all for his glory. We will get a second opinion. Any input on this would be helpful.

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Old 09-14-2007, 07:46 AM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Posts: 350
hypatia HB Userhypatia HB User
Re: Questions on Lung Transplants

I understand your dilemma. I too have severe COPD but function fairly well. On the other hand, my best friend who is 57, has pretty much reached the end of the road and should be transplanted within 3 months. The thing is, your husband can be evaluated by the transplant team and go thru rigorous testing (which is good, because it finds even the smallest problem), after which time they (not your doctor) will recommend he eigher go forward or try to make the most of what he has. The patient must be both bad enough for transplant yet good enough to survive the surgery. He can decide at any time to withdraw from the transplant list.

All lung disease sufferers dread catching even a cold because it can so easily go into our lungs and lead to respiratory distress resulting in being placed on a ventilator or respirator. I'm sure this is a concern for your husband.

Lung transplantation is not the death sentence it used to be. I know one woman who is 7 years out and going strong; another man is going on his 15th year. Yes, they must take meds for the rest of their lives. Check out 'Second Wind' online.

How does your husband feel about transplant? Has he gone thru pulmonary rehab? It can do wonders, even for the sickest patient. I wish you both the best...Patty

Old 09-24-2007, 12:39 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gallipolis, OH 45631
Posts: 1
rbjr5413 HB User
Cool Re: Questions on Lung Transplants

I had a heart and double lung transplant at age 40. It was on June 12, 1992. Today they tell me that I am the longest surviving heart/lung transplant recipient out this long. I had a kidney transplant in December 2005.

Transplantation changed my life. Yes, I traded in one set of problems for another set of circumstances but I have also lived an additional 15 years and 3 months. I have had sone set backs but so far my quality of life has been pertty good.

I've been fortunate to have good doctors and I believe in God and read healing scriptures everyday. There are many books in Christian Bookstores with healing scriptures in them, one of the best is "God's Creative Power for Healing" by Charles Capps.

The transplant team are the doctors who utlimately decide who gets on the transplant list. And you doctor is right in trying to get your husband on there while he is still healthy enough to pass the tests. The lungs always goes to the most critical need persons at the time of availablility.

You need to understand that with transplantation comes a different life style. It can be good but you and your loved ones must exercise caution and learn to do somethings differently. The average life span for transplanted lungs is 4 years as I understand it, but that is changing everyday to a longer life span.

May God bless and keep you and your husband.

Old 09-24-2007, 03:16 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Posts: 350
hypatia HB Userhypatia HB User
Re: Questions on Lung Transplants

I sure hope the original poster reads your inspirational message, rbjr. I am passing it along to my friend who is waiting for transplant. She is deeply religious also, and it always seems to me that people with a strong faith fare so much better than those with none.

Old 09-28-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
Emeraldeyes HB User
Re: Questions on Lung Transplants

Thank you all for your replys.

My husband and I are christians and I am presently praying for a healing. I am very familiar with Charles Capps. I listen to him on the radio every morning on my drive to work.

What kind of tests do the transplant team of doctors do? He already has had so many tests done and the insurance company will not pay for duplicates. We have to travel out of town for this. How long do they keep you for the testing. We were told it needs to be done every six months.

Old 09-29-2007, 04:15 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ft. Collins, CO
Posts: 350
hypatia HB Userhypatia HB User
Re: Questions on Lung Transplants

Each transplant center has its own policies and procedures. You could go to the website of the one your husband would be using. It seems they are all online now. I would think they could use results of recent tests he has had done (lung and bone scans; heart testing), in addition to the ones they do. Hopefully rbjr will add comments.

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