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As with any surgery, complications may occur. Some complications from lung transplantation may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Blockage of the blood vessels to the new lung(s)
Blockage of the airways
Severe pulmonary edema (fluid in the lung)
The new lung may be rejected. Rejection is a normal reaction of the body to a foreign object or tissue. When a new lung is transplanted into a recipient's body, the immune system reacts to what it perceives as a threat and attacks the new organ, not realizing that the transplanted lung is beneficial. To allow the transplanted organ to survive in a new body, medications must be taken to trick the immune system into accepting the transplant and not attacking it as a foreign object.
The medications used to prevent or treat rejection have side effects. The exact side effects will depend on the specific medications that are taken.
Contraindications for lung transplantation include, but are not limited to, the following:
Current or recurring infection that cannot be treated effectively
Metastatic cancer - cancer that has spread from its primary location to one or more additional locations in the body
Severe cardiac or other medical problems preventing the ability to tolerate the surgical procedure
Serious conditions other than lung disease that would not improve after transplantation
Noncompliance with treatment regimen
There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.