Lung Transplant Program
Effective Aug.18, 2023, UK HealthCare will temporarily pause its lung transplant program. Our current Lung Transplant Surgical Director has accepted a leadership role at another medical center. While we recruit a new surgical director, we will pause lung transplants. We want to assure our patients that this pause is only temporary. We will continue to provide compassionate, advanced specialty care to patients with chronic and acute lung disease. Our team is working with nearby transplant centers to ensure a seamless transition of care as needed.
If you are a patient who has already had a lung transplant at UK, this pause will not impact you. You will continue to receive your post-transplant care at our Transplant Center.
Please call 859-323-3408 for questions about your care.
The UK Transplant Center has completed more than 500 lung transplants since it was founded in 1964. We offer single-lung and double-lung transplant for adults and children with a variety of life-limiting lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, coal worker pneumoconiosis, pulmonary hypertension and sarcoidosis. We also offer combined heart and lung transplants.
Our team of cardiothoracic surgeons, transplant pulmonologists, pharmacists and nurses works together to determine the appropriate treatment options for each patient, while social workers and support staff help our patients and their families throughout the transplant process — before, during and after surgery.
In fact, we use ambulatory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a technique that provides oxygen support as a bridge to transplant for patients with advanced lung disease.
About lung transplant
Lung transplantation is a type of surgery to remove a diseased lung and replace it with a healthy lung. In the majority of lung transplantation surgeries, the healthy lung comes from a deceased donor. Lung transplantations can be single or double replacements.
In the case of single lung transplantation, an incision is made on the same side of the lung to be replaced while the patient is under anesthesia and hooked up to a ventilator. The unhealthy lung is removed through the incision and replaced with the healthy lung. With double lung transplantation surgery, an incision is made in the lower chest that extends from side to side and each diseased lung is removed and replaced one at a time. Typically, a single lung transplantation surgery lasts from four to eight hours and a double lung transplantation surgery lasts from six to 12 hours with the patient remaining in the hospital for seven to 14 days or longer.
Education & Resources
With concerns surrounding COVID-19 and limiting public gatherings, we are canceling in-person support group meetings until further notice.
We are conducting virtual meetings on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 3pm. The group is relevant for pre-transplant patients, post-transplant patients and caregivers. For questions, or to join the group, contact Heather Palmer at 859-323-6019.
The purpose of these guide is to provide you and your family with a better understanding of the transplant process. The information also will help you understand what questions to ask and who can answer them. We hope that by carefully reading through this book, you will be better prepared for your situation.
This education booklet explains what you can expect after your transplantation.
For additional information about transplant, visit the Web sites listed below. These sites are reputable organizations that offer reliable information.
- American Lung Association
- Better Breathers Club
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
- Pulmonary Hypertension Association
- COPD Foundation
- National Emphysema Foundation
- Respiratory Health Association
- Trust for Life
- Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA)
- United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
- Transplant Living
- Donate Life America
After contracting COVID-19 in 2021, Victor Gonzales spent 5 months on life support at UK HealthCare, waiting for a double lung transplant that could save his life.
After Andy Wilkins was hospitalized with COVID-19, a double lung transplant was his only option. Read more at UKNow.
In March 2022, in innovative machine capable of transporting donor lungs long distances for transplant was first used by UK HealthCare to transport a pair of lungs over 300 miles to Albert B. Chandler Hospital where they were transplanted into a waiting patient. Read more at UKNow.