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Lung Transplant Recovery Process Includes Routine Clinic Visits

Woman smiling at doctor and nurseAfter receiving a lung transplant at Tampa General Hospital, the recovery process begins with a hospital stay that generally ranges from seven to 14 days, although some individuals could be required to stay longer depending on their condition prior to surgery. Following discharge, transplant recipients in TGH’s Lung Transplant Program will be required to make routine visits to the TGH Cardiac & Lung Transplant Clinic located on the third floor of the Harbourside Medical Tower to have their progress monitored throughout the lung transplant recovery process.

Due to these post-transplant clinic visitation requirements, transplant patients must stay in the Tampa area for a period of eight weeks after surgery if they don’t reside within one hour of TGH. All transplant patients must have transportation to and from clinic visits provided by a designated care/support person, and must bring a list of all medications and vital signs recordings to each visit.

During clinic visits, transplant recipients will be given exams, biopsies, and labs. While the required follow-up visit schedule can vary from patient to patient in the lung transplant recovery process based on individual care needs, a typical schedule can include weekly visits for the first two months after surgery, visits every other week during the second month after lung transplant surgery, monthly visits during months three through 12 post-surgery, and annual visits thereafter (along with visits every three months for labs). Furthermore, before a patient is discharged from TGH, an initial bronchoscopy will be performed to assess the health of the graft.

Additional periodic bronchoscopies will be needed:

  • One month after surgery
  • Every two months thereafter for the remainder of the first year after surgery
  • After the first year of surgery if symptoms of graft rejection or infection are present

For more information about the lung transplant recovery process for patients in TGH’s Lung Transplant Program, call the transplant coordinator toll free 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.