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Lung Transplant Guidelines at Tampa General Hospital

Physician with a mask on

Every lung transplant center uses specific guidelines to ensure the best possible outcome for each individual patient. Sometimes, that means recommending different options, such as medication or oxygen therapy, to patients who aren’t likely to benefit from a transplant.

Other times, that means accelerating the process for a patient who is in urgent need of a donor lung in order to survive. At Tampa General Hospital, we evaluate every patient on an individual basis, assessing a wide range of factors to determine if a transplant is the best option. Patients must be referred to TGH by a physician, and the referral forms can be found here.

Our lung transplant guidelines are different for every condition we treat, but in general, candidates must:

  • Be younger than 70 years old
  • Have a life expectancy of two years or less without a transplant
  • Be tobacco-free for six months or more, and abstain from drugs and alcohol
  • Be free from cancer, infections, and systemic diseases
  • Maintain an appropriate body weight

Additionally, candidates cannot have been diagnosed with cirrhosis, HIV, or bone marrow failure, or have a bone density score outside an established acceptable range. Candidates will need to have adequate social and financial resources with which to accommodate the demands of a transplant, and they must have the ability and willingness to comply with the recovery guidelines as well.

Candidates should understand that recovery from a lung transplant may involve a hospital stay of up to three weeks and requires about three months of frequent monitoring after the recipient is discharged  to prevent and detect complications and evaluate lung function. During this time, lung transplant recipients will need to stay close to Tampa General Hospital. Follow-up visits, which are usually less frequent, may involve laboratory tests, chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram (ECG), and a lung biopsy.

Guidelines for lung transplant recipients also generally include taking immunosuppressant medications for life in order to prevent rejection of the donor lung or lungs, as well as a lifelong care plan that includes follow-up appointments and therapies.    

To learn more about Tampa General Hospital’s lung transplant guidelines, please call 1-800-505-7769 (press 3 for the lung transplant program, and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the referral coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.