10 years ago, Vikas might have looked blank, if he was asked what idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is. But, today he and his family are well aware about this debilitating disease which has no cure. 7 years ago, he started experiencing breathlessness, he thought it was the result of aging because he never smoked a day in life.
Initially, breathlessness was quite manageable, but with time exercise became challenging for him. He had to gasp for air even after a simple task. He and his family were puzzled to answer his battle to breathe every day.
Finally, he and his wife went on to visit a pulmonologist. He was then diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. His family was shaken knowing that. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung disease that causes scar tissues to grow inside your lungs and makes it hard to breathe.
And this condition gets worse over time.
His wife and son were shocked after knowing this. His son and daughter-in-law were expecting their first child after 6 months. They all were to celebrate this together but before that this news took their smile away.
Vikas was immediately put on drug therapy but he could not tolerate drugs, So he had to discontinue it. He realized that if he wanted to see his grandchildren, he would have to get on the list of a lung transplant. His family supported this decision. Thankfully he was accepted for lung transplant by one hospital in Mumbai. He kept doing exercise with the help of oxygen along with waiting for a transplant call.
Finally after 6 months, a set of lungs were available for him. He was transferred to the hospital for a transplant. He was prepared for a surgery. At 10:00 pm he was taken to the operation room. His surgery began after midnight at 1:00 am , while his family patiently waited overnight in the waiting room.
Next morning at 9:00 am, his family was greeted by the surgeon with news they all had been waiting for, that surgery was a success. After surgery he spent several days in the ICU. Doctors and nurses took great care. Then after 8 weeks he was sent back home to start a new life with new lungs. His wife and family took great care of him at home and after 2 and half years, he is now completely healthy. Because of a lung transplant he could finally see his newly born grandson.
Lung transplant has given new life to many people like Vikas. This is the reason we have created this post to help you understand everything about lung transplant.
In this post you will learn about how lungs work, about lung transplant surgery and its cost in India.
So, let’s first start with
Lungs are an important part of the respiratory system. The basic function of your respiratory system is to move fresh air into your body and remove waste air.
Each and every organ in your body requires oxygen. Whenever we breathe air, it moves to the lungs. After reaching the lungs, oxygen is moved into the bloodstream. Through the bloodstream, it reaches all parts of the body. Likewise, all waste gases like carbon dioxide move from the body to the bloodstream and reach the lungs. From the lungs, carbon dioxide is moved out during exhalation.
Now we will see parts of the lungs
- The lung is divided into Lobes. Lobes are balloon-like structures filled with sponge-like tissues. Right lung is divided into 3 lobes and Left lung is divided into 2 lobes.
- Windpipe divides into 2 bronchial tubes, one for each lung. It then divides further for each lobes.
- It then further divides into bronchioles. Bronchioles are the smallest branch of the bronchial tubes.
- Alveoli are located at the end of the bronchioles. Alveoli Are small air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged in the bloodstream.
Now we will see what lung transplant is.
Lung transplant is a procedure to remove a failing lung with the help of surgery and replace it with a healthy lung from the donor. In this case usually donors are deceased. A person becomes eligible for lung transplant if his or her condition is not sufficiently improved after all kinds of treatments and medications.
Even though lung transplant is a major surgery that involves complications and risks, it brings new life for the patient. It improves the health and quality of life of the patient.
This is why it is necessary for you to know everything about the process of lung transplant. First of all let’s understand types of lung transplant.
There are 2 major types of lung transplants.
1. Cadaveric Transplant
Most lungs transplanted are cadaveric lungs. It means that lungs come from deceased organ donors.
2. Living transplant
In a living lung transplant, a non-smoking healthy adult may donate some part of his one lung. Part of the lung is called a lobe.
It is important to note that a living donor who has donated a lung lobe can live a healthy, normal life with the remaining lungs.
Apart from this there are 4 types of lung transplants as per procedures.
Transplant of one lung is called a single lung transplant.
When it becomes necessary to transplant both lungs, then double lung transplant is performed.
In this type of lung transplant, both lungs are transplanted but it is carried out one at a time.
In this type of transplant, not just lungs, the heart is also transplanted from the same donor. In some cases, the heart is also required to be transplanted along with lungs, in such cases this type of transplant is carried out.
Now we will see why you should undergo a lung transplant.
Not all patients are eligible for lung transplant. Lung transplant is advised in certain situations like
- If your life expectancy is 12 to 24 months without lung transplant.
- You have serious lung problems that can’t be cured with any medications and treatments
Here are some serious lung problems for which you may require lung transplant.
- Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease: This lung disease makes breathing difficult.
- Pulmonary hypertension: In this condition, the blood pressure of arteries in the lungs increases. In the long run, it causes damage to the lungs if left untreated.
- Cystic Fibrosis: Cystic Fibrosis is a condition in which glands that make sweat and mucus stop working. In the long run, it becomes fatal because the condition gets worse over time.
- Heart disease: Heart diseases that are directly involved with lung function require heart and lung transplant.
Why should you choose India for Lung transplant?
India has a vast network of hospitals ranging from world-class large medical institutions to mid-range hospitals and public hospitals. They provide good medical care at par with international standards.
It gives the patient the benefit of choosing a hospital in a nearby city and surgeon as per their budget.
Indian hospitals are well-known in the world for affordable treatments and high quality. The price of a lung transplant in India may differ between hospitals depending on the infrastructure, surgeon and the city you choose .
Indian doctors in the medical world are well-reputed and respected for their knowledge and experience. They are highly qualified and skilled in their field. Many top doctors in India are internationally trained. They are a part of the panel of doctors that represents India at global level.
The best hospitals in India are located in metropolitan cities. Hospitals are well connected to public transportation and international airports. This saves time and makes smooth connectivity.
After some tests and qualifying criteria, you will be put on the waitlist for donor lungs. Waiting time depends on various factors like geographical distance between donor and recipient, blood group, availability of matching lungs , your overall health and severity of lung condition.
When lungs are available, you will be notified and instructed to reach the hospital immediately where you are registered for lung transplant.
Now we will see what procedure you can expect in lung transplant.
- First of all you will receive an IV and general anesthesia. Because of that, you will be in induced sleep.
- Then the surgical team will insert a tube in your windpipe to help you breathe, another tub will be inserted in your nose to empty your stomach and a catheter will be inserted to keep the bladder empty.
- You may also be put on a heart lung machine to pump your blood and oxygenate the blood during the surgery.
- After all these preparations, the surgeon will make a large incision on your chest. Your old lung will be removed after incision.
- After removal of your old lung , the new lung will be connected to your blood vessels and main airway.
- Then the incision will be closed after surgeons are satisfied that the new lung has started working properly.
- Single lung transplant can take 4 to 8 hours long surgery while double lung transplant can take 12 hour long surgery.
- After this process you will be shifted to ICU for a few days.
- In the ICU your body will be closely monitored for a few days and you may expect to go home after some weeks , depending on the speed of your recovery.
- Then for the next 3 months , the lung transplant team will closely monitor any signs of rejection, infection in the lungs.
- You may be given immunosuppressants from preventing your body from attacking new lungs.
Now we will see the cost of lung transplant.
Depending on the condition of the patient, the concerned doctor may suggest to undergo treatment. The cost for the same will have to be additionally added to the above-listed cost, based on the type of transplant one has to opt for.
The cost of lung transplant may vary as per hospital infrastructure and technology, surgeon, organ transplant charges, length of stay in the hospital, any further health complications, and Post-transplant treatment and medications.
Lung transplant treatment in India may vary between 33,000 USD (2489157 INR) to 48,000 USD (3620592 INR).
The mentioned cost is exclusive of any post-operative complications, over-stay charges, inter-disciplinary conditions, or use of any special drugs, consumables or blood components.
When planning your lung transplant in India, we recommend you to be prepared and aware of every minuscule aspect, so as to avoid any surprises. We, at MedicoExperts, are open and ready to answer any query you may have.
What is the success rate of lung transplant treatment ?
With the advancement in the medicine and technology field, the success ratio and life expectancy of patients undergoing lung transplants have increased tremendously in the last decade. The Success Rate of lung transplant treatment is 87%.
This is a result of extremely qualified and highly skilled surgeons and highly equipped, hospitals with strict patient care, cleanliness, and infection control policies.
Lung transplant treatment gives a new life to patients with failing lungs. With advanced technology, the success rate has gone up in the last decade. Connect with us to know more about cost-effective lung transplant treatment options available in India.
Frequently Asked Questions and patient concerns:
1. How long can I live with lung transplant ?
Almost 80% of people have lived more than 1 year after lung transplant. 50% of people have lived at least 5 years. And many people have lived at least 10 years. There are also reports of people living 20 years or more after a lung transplant.
2. Can I live with one lung ?
Yes , people can live with one lung instead of two if needed. Usually, one lung can provide enough oxygen to the body and can remove enough carbon dioxide from the body.
3. What is life like after a lung transplant ?
It takes almost 3 to 6 months after a lung transplant to recover fully. After 3 months, you should join rehabilitation programs that involve some exercises to build strength and recover fast.
4. Can I donate a lung to my dad ?
First of all lung transplant is subject to suitability of the lung. If the lung and blood group is matching with your dad then you can donate a lung. But, you can’t donate an entire lung. In living donor cases, lower lobes of your lungs can be transplanted to the patient.
MedicoExperts is a Global virtual hospital which is established to offer quality healthcare services at affordable pricing without compromising the success rates of the treatment. MedicoExperts is having a network of highly experienced super specialist doctors and well equipped hospitals across the globe and offering second opinion through online video consultation and surgical interventions through its empanelled super specialist doctors at its network hospitals in 17 countries from 3 continents.
By the virtue of its approach and model, MedicoExperts is successfully achieve to deliver
- Latest and most advanced treatments with success rates of international benchmarks.
- Multiple cost options depending upon the hospital facilities, with the same doctor.
- Treatment option in multiple cities/state/countries.
- Trust and peace of mind.
Most suitable for patients who are looking for:-
- Planned Surgeries and treatment from most experienced doctors and at multiple cost options as per hospital facilities with best possible outcomes.
- Second Opinion from expert doctors.
- Complex cases involving multi specialities
- International patients looking for treatment from Indian doctors