Lung Transplantation (LTX)
A number of diseases can result in a loss of lung function, leading to restricted respiration and an associated deterioration in physical resilience. These may be caused by diseases of the pulmonary tissue (parenchymatous) or of the blood vessels in the lungs (vascular). If medication or surgical or interventional treatment is no longer working, lung transplantation may be the only possible treatment.
In the final stages of lung disease, when there is a severe loss of lung function, transplantation - replacing a diseased lung with one from a donor - can be a successful treatment option. A waiting list for lung transplantation is drawn up based on priority need, with the participation of several specialist disciplines (six-eye principle) and the application of a clearly structured, transparent and wide-ranging examination and decision-making process. This very strict procedure is reviewed at regular intervals by external specialists.
Eurotransplant - a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands - is responsible for arranging the distribution of organs in Germany, the Benelux countries, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Four general principles are of importance when deciding who should receive an organ: the anticipated success of transplantation, urgency (as determined by experts), waiting time, and the national organ exchange balance. The likely success of transplantation is predicted partly on the basis of the individual characteristics of the donor and recipient. Once a donor organ has been accepted, the race against time begins.
The harvesting and transportation of the donor organ from donor to recipient, which must be completed within just a few hours, is organized with the help of the German Organ Transplantation Foundation (DSO).
The Heart Center in Leipzig performs lung transplantations in close collaboration with the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic I, Department of Pneumology, of Leipzig University Clinic. Together, these two units comprise Leipzig's Lung Transplantation Center. Thus all examinations and preparations for transplant surgery are conducted at the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic I, Department of Pneumology, of Leipzig University Clinic. The lung transplantations themselves are performed at the Heart Center by the University Clinic for Heart Surgery of the Heart Center in Leipzig.