Chronic Pulmonary Disease Can Lead to a Lung Transplant

Chronic pulmonary disease, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is usually a combination of two diseases, chronic bronchitis and chronic emphysema. Chronic bronchitis causes the lungs’ airways to become inflamed and produce a lot of mucus. This can restrict or block the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Chronic emphysema damages the lungs’ air sacs so that less air gets into and out of the lungs, which causes shortness of breath. This disease is usually caused by smoking, as breathing in tobacco smoke damages lung tissue and irritates the airways.

Patients with chronic pulmonary disease may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath that becomes worse with activity, a long-lasting cough, and mucus that comes up when coughing. There are treatments available that can help manage present symptoms and slow the development of the disease. Some treatment options include:

  • Cessation of smoking
  • A lung rehabilitation program
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Inhaled medicines such as bronchodilators or steroids to facilitate breathing

Over time, the damage caused by COPD may become severe and require more advanced treatment, such as a lung transplant. Tampa General Hospital’s Lung Transplant Program treats adult patients with COPD, and has performed an average of 42 lung transplants a year since 2006. We evaluate transplant candidates on an individual basis based on the information provided in a physician-submitted Cardiothoracic Transplant referral form as well as other factors.

For more information about our lung transplant program or to learn about Tampa General Hospital’s selection criteria for patients with chronic pulmonary disease, please call us at 1-800-505-7769 (press 3 for the lung transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.