Why choose Ohio State for lung transplant?

Experience: Our Comprehensive Transplant Center has one of the largest organ transplant programs in the nation and is a preferred provider for all major insurance companies. Each year we perform nearly 600 kidney, liver, pancreas, combined kidney-pancreas, heart and lung transplants. Since our program started in 1967, we have performed 12,500 lifesaving organ transplants including 1,300 cardiothoracic transplants (hearts and lungs). Ohio State's Comprehensive Transplant Center ranks top 30 nationally for lung transplantation volume and is ranked #37 for pulmonology and lung surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

Leading-edge treatments:

  • One of the first centers in the United States to perform COVID-19 related double lung transplants
  • One of only 20 centers nationwide chosen to participate in the Novel Lung trial with XVIVO Lung Perfusion, which could potentially expand the donor pool of lungs for transplantation
  • One of the few Ohio locations providing adult extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to patients with end-stage pulmonary disease or post-transplant graft dysfunction
  • One of 17 centers nationwide chosen to participate in the prestigious National Emphysema Treatment Trial to provide lung volume-reduction surgery
  • Our end-stage cardiopulmonary failure program performs pulmonary thrombo-endoarterectomies for patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
  • First lung-kidney transplant in Ohio (only 37 performed in the U.S. at time of transplant)
  • Successful re-transplantation of multiple lung recipients
Lung transplant research:
  • Multidisciplinary research collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital at the Center for the Epidemiological Study of Organ Failure and Transplantation (CESOT) to improve outcomes in transplantation worldwide
  • Research collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital for pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis to transition to adult treatment and transplantation at Ohio State
  • Investigation of new methods of organ perfusion and regeneration to help make more lungs viable for transplantation. Our recent study shows lungs from donors who died from asphyxiation or drowning can be safely transplanted into patients with end-stage lung disease
  • Participation in the multi-institutional Lung Transplant Outcomes Group headed at the University of Pennsylvania

Ohio State's Comprehensive Transplant Center is the first in Ohio and among only a handful nationwide to test a novel method that could potentially double the number of available lungs for transplantation and save more of the 35 million Americans suffering from chronic lung disease.

Lung Transplant Candidates

Lung Transplant Candidates

Lung transplantation may be a treatment option for several medical conditions:
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AAT deficiency): an inherited condition that raises your risk for lung and liver disease. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein made by the liver that protects the lungs. If the AAT proteins aren't the right shape, they get stuck in the liver cells and can't reach the lungs.

    Symptoms of AAT deficiency include:
    • Shortness of breath and wheezing
    • Repeated lung infections
    • Tiredness
    • Rapid heartbeat upon standing
    • Vision problems
    • Weight loss

Some people have no symptoms and do not develop complications. Blood tests and genetic tests can tell if you have it. If your lungs are affected, you may also have lung tests. Treatments include medicines, pulmonary rehab and extra oxygen, if needed. Severe cases may need a lung transplant. Not smoking can prevent or delay lung symptoms.

  • Bronchiectasis: The bronchi are two tubes that branch off the trachea, or windpipe. The bronchi carry air to your lungs. Common problems of bronchi include:
    • Bronchiectasis, a condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred
    • Exercise-induced bronchospasm, which happens when the airways shrink while you are exercising
    • Bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways that branch off from the bronchi
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a condition affecting infants
  • Occupational lung diseases: are caused or made worse by your work environment. They occur from inhaling dusts, chemicals or bacteria and molds at work. 

    The major groups of occupational lung diseases are:
    • Work-related asthma
    • Lung disease from dusts and metals
    • Allergic problems
    • Reactions from irritants
    • Lung or other cancers
    • Infections
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): is a rare lung disease that mostly affects women of childbearing age. In LAM, abnormal, muscle-like cells begin to grow out of control in certain organs or tissues, especially the lungs, lymph nodes and kidneys. Over time, these LAM cells can destroy the normal lung tissue. As a result, air can’t move freely in and out of the lungs. In some cases, this means the lungs can’t supply the body’s other organs with enough oxygen.

Patient Process

Lung Transplant Process

Lung Transplant Process

A goal of our Comprehensive Transplant Center is to ensure our transplant patients experience seamless service through the entire transplant process, including pre-transplant evaluation, communication throughout the waiting process, acute medical care during and following surgery, intensive outpatient treatment, post-transplant outpatient visits and ongoing telephone follow-up.

If you are deemed a candidate for lung transplant, you will be asked to sign a written contract that states you understand and agree to commit to the process. If you have a tobacco, alcohol or drug history, you will be asked to sign an abstinence agreement as well. Sample contracts are available from your lung transplant coordinator. Please talk with your coordinator should you have any questions regarding these contracts and agreements.

Treatment Team

Lung Transplant Team

Lung Transplant Team

Our Comprehensive Transplant Center treatment team includes:

  • More +

Frequently Asked Questions

Lung Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Lung Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Success Stories

First Ex Vivo Lung Transplant Patient at OSU Counts His Blessings

George developed idiopatchic pulmonary fibrosis and at age 65 was in lung failure. Lung transplantation at Ohio State saved his life.

At 67, a Lung Transplant Has Vickie Looking at Life Differently

A few years ago, a fall landed Vickie in the ER, but she didn't expect a routine scan to reveal pulmonary fibrosis.

Diagnosed with a Genetic Disorder, April Thought Her Life Was Over

Originally doctor's tied April's breathing troubles to asthma and allergies, so learning she had a genetic lung disease was a shock.

Becky is Breathing Easier After Her Lung Transplant at Ohio State

At 55, Becky was active and in good health until COPD and emphysema literally took her breath away.
Kodie Edler Lung

He put off the COVID-19 vaccine. It cost him his lungs.

Kodie Edler, 28, is a symbol of survival now, but he’s also a cautionary tale. He wants to tell the world: Don’t be like me.
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