Through transplant, Duke seeks to improve the health and longevity of patients with advanced chronic lung disease and other serious pulmonary disorders.
The nation’s largest programs of its kind, the Duke Lung Transplant Program was established in 1992. Since then, our team has performed more than 1,100 lung transplants -- 145 in 2011 alone.
Once a patient is added to the transplant wait list, we offer the shortest median wait times to transplant of all U.S. lung transplant centers -- and we accept referrals from across the U.S.
Lung transplant can benefit patients with advanced lung disease for which medical therapies are not effective. These lung diseases include pulmonary fibrosis, connective tissue disease, emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), pneumoconiosis, bronchoalveolar carcinoma (BAC), bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis (CF).
Our program often evaluates potential transplant candidates that other lung transplant centers have chosen not to transplant due to their age and/or complex medical conditions.
We have seen excellent outcomes in transplanting patients who have not historically been candidates for lung transplantation, including those older than 70; patients with cystic fibrosis whose lungs are colonized with resistant pathogens; patients with concomitant coronary artery and/or valvular heart disease; and patients with respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Areas of special expertise and exceptional success at Duke include multi-organ transplants including heart-lung and lung-liver transplantation and re-transplantation for bronchiolits obliterans.
Unlike most other programs, we have no absolute upper age limit, offering a second chance at a healthy life for numerous patients.
Once a patient has been referred to Duke, our dedicated, multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, transplant coordinators, psychologists, nutritionists, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, social workers, and financial coordinators work together to provide specialized care for each patient’s specific needs.
Our team works extensively with each patient to ensure the patient is physically and emotionally prepared for transplant. We also offer patients and their caregivers the resources and support they need to lead a healthy life after transplantation, including innovative strategies to prevent organ rejection and injuries.
Our patients -- both pre- and post-transplant -- engage in supervised pulmonary rehabilitation at the Duke Center for Living campus. This specialized medical rehabilitation facility has been recognized for exceptional quality and experience with lung transplant patients.
Through therapy and transplant, we can give patients back not only quantity of life, but also improved quality of life.
Duke has the shortest waiting list time in the country -- a 12-day average in 2011 -- and has only infrequent deaths on the waiting list. This short waiting time has allowed our program to provide patients life-saving care exactly when they need it.
Our program is proud to achieve both one- and three-year post-transplant survival that is significantly greater than national averages. Duke is the only U.S. lung transplant site with better than expected one-year patient survival.
In 2010, the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) recognized Duke for having the highest national lung-transplant rate and zero wait-list deaths -- and designated ours the nation's only Silver Level lung transplant center.
Our program remains at the cutting edge of many innovative and exciting research and clinical therapies.
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