Post-Transplant Care for Lung Transplant

Initial recovery after a lung transplant may require a hospital stay of one to three weeks.

Anti-rejection medications are started immediately after lung transplant surgery to allow the transplanted lung to survive in the body. Our lung transplant team tailors anti-rejection drug regimens to meet the individual needs of each patient.

Through ongoing research, anti-rejection medications continue to improve and get approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so if one medication does not work, there are numerous other options for success.

Commonly prescribed medications to prevent organ rejection include:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Azathioprine
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Prednisone
  • OKT3
  • Antithymocyte Ig (ATGAM)

Frequent Monitoring and Assessment

Patients stay close to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center for three months after the lung transplant. Upon discharge from the hospital, patients receive frequent monitoring by the UH Lung Transplant team. Physicians will continue to assess lung function and look for any signs of infection or organ rejection. The following tests may be used to check for any problems:

  • Laboratory tests
  • Chest X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Pulmonology tests such as spirometry and bronchoscopy

Healthy Lifestyle Increases Lung Function

Patients are urged to live a healthy lifestyle upon going home with the newly transplanted lung(s). Smoking is not allowed and drinking alcohol is limited. Patients are provided with dietary and lifestyle information, as well as an exercise program to stay healthy. Learn more about our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for additional support.