Transplantation may help people with end-stage cystic fibrosis regain health. Currently, double-lung, heart-lung and liver transplants are the only definitive treatments for patients with advanced disease.
For people with cystic fibrosis, both lungs need to be replaced during a transplant. The new lungs will not have CF. Other parts of the body affected by cystic fibrosis, however, will still have the disease.
Making the decision to have a transplant is difficult. CF clinic staff can help in the decision process, but family and friends should be included in the discussions.
Initially, transplant candidates are referred to a lung transplant program by their clinic respirologist. A formal, intensive review will be performed which includes
If a candidate is suitable, he/she must decide whether to proceed with the transplant. If the decision is yes, he/she is placed on a waiting list. Most patients are transplanted within 12-18 months.
Lung transplantation can greatly improve the quality of life of a person with CF. Immediately after the procedure, individuals can feel a difference in breathing and exercise abilities.
For more information, read Cystic Fibrosis and Lung Transplantation
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute - Decision Aid for Adult Cystic Fibrosis Patient Considering Bilateral Lung Transplantation at http://decisionaid.ohri.ca/decaids.html#cfda
Approximately 25% of people with CF experience chronic liver disease. If the disease becomes severe, a liver transplant may be necessary.
Recipients can receive a whole liver from a brain-dead donor, or a portion of a liver from a living relative or friend.
Severe lung infection may exclude a candidate from liver transplantation due to risks from immunosuppressive drugs. Some liver transplant recipients experience significant improvements in lung function following a liver transplant.
For more information, visit www.liver.ca.