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Location

Miami Transplant Institute

1801 NW 9th Avenue

Miami, FL 33136

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Holtz Children’s Hospital

1611 N.W. 12th Avenue

Miami, FL 33136

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Surgery Process For Your Lung or Heart-Lung Transplant Patients

What to expect before, during, and after your surgical procedure.

Before

Before your lung or heart-lung transplant, your doctor may require additional tests and check your overall health. You will also receive specific individualized instructions about preparing for surgery. When a donor organ becomes available, your transplant surgeon will schedule the procedure.

Timing

How quickly you proceed to surgery will be determined by many factors, including the arrival of the donor organ or organs, the time for crossmatch testing, and your need for additional testing before surgery.

Surgical Procedure

The procedure time varies with each patient, including whether you receive one or both lungs, but typically a lung transplant takes about four to eight hours. After the procedure, you will spend time in the recovery care unit, followed by at least a few days in surgical intensive care. Adult patients will stay at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s specialized transplant unit, while children will be in the comfortable surroundings of our pediatric intensive care unit at Holtz Children’s Hospital. After the ICU, you will be transferred to a specialized transplant floor to continue your recovery.

Recovery

You will be assisted in engaging in physical activity after surgery, and will be expected to increase your amount of activity every day to prevent complications such as pneumonia and blood clots. Meanwhile, your doctor and nursing team will take blood and urine samples to evaluate the health of your new organs. A pulmonologist may use a special instrument called a bronchoscope to look inside your transplanted lungs to assess recovery. A transplant pharmacist will meet with you and your family to discuss your new medications.

Physical therapy will be an essential part of your recovery at all stages. Some patients may be admitted to a long-term care facility or rehabilitation hospital after their stay at Jackson to continue recovery.

Follow-up Care

Most adult lung transplant patients are discharged two weeks after surgery, while children may spend several days longer in the hospital. Some patients will require more time in the hospital. You will receive instructions about what to do when you return home, along with the date and time of a follow-up appointment with your transplant care team at the institute.

Before

Before your lung or heart-lung transplant, your doctor may require additional tests and check your overall health. You will also receive specific individualized instructions about preparing for surgery. When a donor organ becomes available, your transplant surgeon will schedule the procedure.

Timing

How quickly you proceed to surgery will be determined by many factors, including the arrival of the donor organ or organs, the time for crossmatch testing, and your need for additional testing before surgery.

Surgical Procedure

The procedure time varies with each patient, including whether you receive one or both lungs, but typically a lung transplant takes about four to eight hours. After the procedure, you will spend time in the recovery care unit, followed by at least a few days in surgical intensive care. Adult patients will stay at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s specialized transplant unit, while children will be in the comfortable surroundings of our pediatric intensive care unit at Holtz Children’s Hospital. After the ICU, you will be transferred to a specialized transplant floor to continue your recovery.

Recovery

You will be assisted in engaging in physical activity after surgery, and will be expected to increase your amount of activity every day to prevent complications such as pneumonia and blood clots. Meanwhile, your doctor and nursing team will take blood and urine samples to evaluate the health of your new organs. A pulmonologist may use a special instrument called a bronchoscope to look inside your transplanted lungs to assess recovery. A transplant pharmacist will meet with you and your family to discuss your new medications.

Physical therapy will be an essential part of your recovery at all stages. Some patients may be admitted to a long-term care facility or rehabilitation hospital after their stay at Jackson to continue recovery.

Follow-up Care

Most adult lung transplant patients are discharged two weeks after surgery, while children may spend several days longer in the hospital. Some patients will require more time in the hospital. You will receive instructions about what to do when you return home, along with the date and time of a follow-up appointment with your transplant care team at the institute.