How it is performed
A lung transplant usually takes between 6 to 8 hours, depending on the complexity of the operation.
After you have had a general anaesthetic, a breathing tube will be placed down your throat so your lungs can be ventilated.
The surgeon will make a cut in your chest so your chest can be opened to remove the diseased lung or lungs.
If assistance with your circulation is needed, a cardiopulmonary bypass machine may be used to keep your blood circulating during the operation.
The old lung will be removed and the new lung sewn into place.
When the transplant team is confident the new lung is working efficiently, your chest will be closed and you'll be taken off the bypass machine.
Tubes will be left in your chest for several days to drain any build-up of blood and fluid.
You'll be taken to the intensive care unit, where more tubes will be attached to supply your body with medicine and fluids and to drain pee from your bladder.
Page last reviewed: 21 December 2022
Next review due: 21 December 2025