Right after the procedure, patients can't yet breathe without help
Lung transplantation is a demanding procedure—both physically and emotionally.
Recipients are not able to immediately breathe on their own and will require a ventilator to facilitate breathing until a doctor deems the patient strong enough to do so unassisted.
Nurses, physical therapists and respiratory therapists will aid recipients in preparing for life with new lungs.
Recovery in the hospital can be lengthy and complicated. Life after a transplant requires discipline and dedication to self-care.
For patients with cystic fibrosis, the donated lungs do not contain the defective gene that caused their own lungs to clog—so they won’t be susceptible to filling with mucus again. But, cystic fibrosis will continue to damage the pancreas, intestines and other parts of the body, requiring ongoing treatment to deal with these, and other, issues.