Lung Transplantation

Introduction

The UNC Lung Transplant Program is one of the oldest lung transplant programs in the country. Over the last 15 years, the UNC Transplant Program has performed ~ 300 lung transplant operations. The UNC program is open to patients with all types of severe lung disease, thought it has had a strong interest in cystic fibrosis, having performed ~ 200 double lung transplantations for this disease making it one of the largest CF transplant programs in the world. The UNC program has performed lung transplantations for many of the common respiratory disorders including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, pulmonary hypertension, and alpha1-antitypsin deficiency. The UNC Transplant Program follows the international guidelines for selection of lung transplant candidates that has been promulgated by the American Society of Transplant physicians, the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. In brief, patients with endstage lung disease that is not responsive to medical therapies qualify for lung transplantation if their age is less than 65 (on occasion, older individuals may be considered), they have no other serious non-pulmonary diseases, or active infections (for example HIV, hepatitis), and/or are strong enough to undergo a long operation and convalescence.

The UNC Lung Transplant Program has considerable depth in clinical, educational, and clinical and basic science research in the area of transplantation. Over 30 manuscripts and many book chapters have been written by UNC surgeons and physicians about topics such as operative techniques, post-transplant infections, post-transplant lymphoma, ischemic reperfusion injury, lung preservation, post-transplant osteoporosis, and chronic graft rejection. Due to these academic endeavors, UNC transplant surgeons and physicians have made numerous presentations at national and international medical conferences. The UNC program has emphasized research endeavors as a compliment to excellent, comprehensive, clinical care. Research programs are highly likely to improve outcomes of lung transplant patients in the near and distant future. In addition, research programs allow patients access to new information and medications that may improve their likelihood of a successful lung transplant.

The transplant clinic for new patients and follow up appointments takes place Wednesday and Friday mornings on the 4th Floor in the Main Hospital.

Patient Support Group

The Lung Transplant Support Group meets every other Wednesday night at 5:45 PM. Doctors and other allied health people often give talks at the support meetings on relevant lung transplant topics.

Contact Laurie McDonald, the social worker at 919-966-6341 if you would like to participate.

Lung Transplant Team

Drs. Peadar Noone, Medical Director and Benjamin Haithcock (cardiothoracic surgery) lead the Lung Transplant Program with lung transplant coordinators, Ken Davis and Michele Curl. They are joined by other highly skilled and experienced lung transplant pulmonologists James Yankaskas and Raymond Coakley and transplant surgeon, Nirmal Veermachaneeni. Dr. William Funkhouser (lung transplant pathologist) provides expertise in interpreting lung biopsy specimens from transplant recipients, and Dr. Scott Randell provides leadership in our basic science research efforts in the area of transplant rejection and immunology. Rounding out the team are social workers, psychologists, and dedicated members from physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and financial services.

Contact Us

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the UNC Lung Transplant Program, please contact us:

Peadar Noone, MD
Medical Director/Associate Professor
Phone: 919-966-2531

Michele Curl, RN
Transplant Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-0424
FAX: 919-843-0564

Ken Davis, RN
Transplant Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-6038
FAX: 919-843-0564

To make a referral:

Lisa Pendergraph
Program Assistant for Lung Transplant program
Phone: 919-966-6457
Fax: 919-843-0564
lpenderg@unch.unc.edu

Additional Resources

UNC - Surgery - Transplant Website : The surgical side of UNC lung transplantation.

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation : An international organization of transplant physicians and health care professionals.

American Society of Transplantation : A US organization of transplant physicians and health care professionals.

Thoracic Society : The medical section of the American Lung Association.

European Respiratory Society : A leading organization of European respiratory medicine.