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Managing COPD – Surgery

Lung Transplant

Lung transplant is not a cure, but a treatment. Lung transplants may be an option for some people with advanced COPD, who no longer smoke and who will not survive without a lung transplant. There are specific requirements to qualify for a lung transplant, and, if you meet these, you will be put on a wait list for a transplant. The wait might be long. In a lung transplant, surgeons take out one or two of the lungs and replace them with healthy lungs. The surgery can be risky. People who receive transplants must take immunosuppressants (anti-rejection medications) for the rest of their lives.

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

This type of surgery is done in order to help some people with COPD breathe better. If your doctor decides you qualify for this type of surgery, it may help with shortness of breath. During the surgery, pieces of the damaged lung tissue are removed. This allows the healthy tissue to “work better.”

Awaiting a Surgery or Lung Transplant?

Having a lung transplant or surgery can be overwhelming. Lung Sask has resources and support programs in place to help you through this journey.

Lung Transplant Checklist
In partnership with lung transplant recipients, we have created a Lung Transplant Checklist to help you prepare for your transplant.