What is transplant surgery?
Transplant surgery is where an organ in your body is replaced with an organ from a donor. Transplant surgery for pulmonary hypertension (PH) can involve replacing the heart and lungs, or just the lungs. It is more common in children than in adults, but is rarely used these days. This is largely due to the availability of effective drugs for PH.
Transplant surgery is not suitable for everyone with PH. If your PH team think your quality of life and life expectancy will be improved by transplant surgery, you will be carefully assessed. Factors that are considered in this assessment include: age, life expectancy, other diseases that you may have, psychological state and lifestyle.
Risks and benefits of transplant surgery
Transplant surgery is a high-risk operation. These risks can include surgical complications, organ rejection and infection. Once you have had a transplant you will be under the care of an expert team for the rest of your life.
Transplant surgery can improve quality of life and life expectancy in a small number of people with PH. Your PH team will talk you through the pros and cons of the operation.
The availability of donor organs is very limited. Thousands of people are on the transplant waiting list.
For someone to donate their organs on death, they need to be a registered organ donor. Knowing someone who could one day benefit from organ donation may encourage others to register as donors. For this reason, you may like to suggest that friends and relatives register themselves. This may one day substantially improve the life of someone living with PH.
People can sign up online: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or phone 0300 123 23 23.