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 ~ 500 lung transplant operations. The UNC program is open to patients with all types of severe lung disease, though 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 70 (on occasion, older individuals may be considered), they have no other serious non-pulmonary diseases, 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. Multiple graduates from our program have gone on to practice pulmonary transplant medicine around the nation (and even the world) and several have become medical transplant directors of other programs. Over 40 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 on the 4th Floor in the Main Hospital. Patients are primarily seen on Wednesdays and Fridays but we see patients on a daily basis.
Patient Support Group
The Lung Transplant Support Group meets every Friday from 1:00-2:00pm. 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 984-974-7584 if you would like to participate.
Lung Transplant Team
Drs. Leonard Lobo, Medical Director and Benjamin Haithcock (cardiothoracic surgery), Surgical Director lead the Lung Transplant Program with lung transplant coordinator Ken Davis and nurse practitioner Christina White. They are joined by other highly skilled and experienced lung transplant pulmonologist Raymond Coakley and transplant surgeon, Jason Long. 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.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about the UNC Lung Transplant Program, please contact us:
Leonard Lobo, MD
Medical Director/Associate Professor
Christina White, NP
Ken Davis, RN
To make a referral:
Program Assistant for Lung Transplant program
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.