Bilateral Lobar Lung Transplantation - the First Two Cases in Belgium

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Abstract

In the last twenty years lung transplantation has become an established treatment for end-stage lung failure refractory to medical management. Over this time, better short and long-term results have been achieved due to improvements in organ procurement, perfusion and preservation strategies, newer immunosuppressant regimes and better posttransplant care. The limiting factor for the number of lung transplantation procedures performed is the shortage of available donor organs. This results in longer waiting times for listed patients, with a substantially increased risk of dying prior to transplantation, especially in the paediatric population.

Several surgical strategies have evolved to overcome the donor shortage, with lobar transplantation becoming a viable alternative. We describe our initial experience with two young patients with end-stage cystic fibrosis (CF) who required lung transplantation. Given their small size it was not possible to transplant an entire lung from an adult donor in each hemithorax. We describe lobar transplantation as a technique used to overcome this, in the first such operation in Belgium.

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