Lung transplantation is a viable option for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema is the most common indication to undergo lung transplantation. A total of seven lung and one heart-lung transplantations were performed between July 1996 and June 2004 at the Yongdong Severance Hospital, and herein, three emphysema patients who underwent single lung transplantations are reviewed. There were 2 males and 1 female, with a mean age of 50 years (35, 57 and 58 years). They all underwent an operation, without cardiopulmonary bypass, and there was no operative mortality. The mean survival was 12 months (4 months, 15 months and 17 months) and all succumbed to death due to activation of pulmonary tuberculosis, post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease and cytomegalovirus (CMV) gastritis associated with asphyxia. Infection was the most common postoperative complication, resulting in longer hospital stays, higher medical expenses and shorter survival rates, necessitating aggressive prophylactic management. The accumulation of experience, modifications to operative procedures and perioperative care may lead to improved early and long-term survival in patients with emphysema undergoing single or bilateral lung transplantations.
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