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Our Transplant Programmes

Overview of a Lung Transplant

When does a patient require a lung transplant?

Patients with end-stage lung disease – whose lungs can no longer obtain sufficient oxygen for the body, require lung transplantation.  

Common end-stage lung diseases which require Lung Transplantation include:

• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
• Bronchiectasis
• Pulmonary Hypertension (Primary and Secondary)

Symptoms of failure

A person with lung failure may experience the following symptoms:

• Shortness of breath
• Frequent coughing, especially when lying down
• Swollen feet, ankles, and legs due to fluid buildup 
• Abdominal swelling and pain
• Fatigue
• Dizziness or fainting 

Eligibility of transplant

Patients suffering from end-stage lung disease and under the age of 60 are eligible for lung transplant. The doctor, patient and family must address the following four basic questions to determine whether a transplant should be considered:

• Have all other medical therapies been tried or ruled out?
• Is the patient likely to die without the transplant?
• Is the patient generally in good health other than suffering from heart disease?
• Can the patient adhere to the lifestyle changes which include complex drug treatments and frequent medical examinations, required after a transplant?

Patients who do not meet the above criteria or suffer from other severe diseases, active infections or severe obesity, are not eligible for a lung transplant.

For lung transplant candidates, members of the transplant team, including the pulmonologist, surgeon, and clinical coordinator will review the patients’ underlying lung condition and prospects of a successful transplant.

​Programme Highlights

• The Lung Transplant programme was established in 1998 and the Singapore’s first lung transplant took place in the year 2000. 

• Our surgeons have performed more than 14 successful lung transplants.

• The first Bridge-to-Transplantation (BTT) using Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) took place in 2006 and the first left ventricular assist device implantation as BTT took place in 2004.

• We attained accreditation by the Joint Commission International and we also adopt clinical guidelines recommended by international bodies such as the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). Donors are individuals who are brain-dead, meaning that the brain shows no signs of life while the person’s body is being kept alive by artificial means. Most donors are those who have passed away due to road accidents, strokes or severe head injuries. Depending on the availability of a heart for transplant, patients may wait for months for a transplant.

Contact Us

SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre
Tel: +65  6326 5194
Fax: +65  6220 0730


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