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What happens after a lung transplant operation?

If both the donor lung(s) and recipient are cleared for surgery, the patient is put under general anesthesia, and the surgeon makes an incision in his or her chest. The patient's damaged lung or lungs are removed, and the donor lungs placed in the chest cavity. The pulmonary artery, vein, and bronchus are connected to the new lungs. Drainage tubes are inserted to help drain air, fluid, and blood out of the chest while the new lungs re-expand. Surgery may take four to eight hours, depending on whether it is a single or double transplant, and if any complications occur.

Most lung transplant surgeries are now performed without using the heart-lung bypass machine, which spares patients from associated post-operative complications. Advances in surgical technique enable surgeons at the Center to reduce the size of the incision required during transplantation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.