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What should you know about getting a lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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Some people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) can get a lung transplant. Doctors usually recommend it for someone whose illness is very severe or gets worse very fast. Getting a new lung or lungs can help you live longer, but it is major surgery.

If you fit the criteria for a lung transplant, your doctor will put you on a waiting list for a lung from a donor. After your transplant, you could be in the hospital for three weeks or longer. You'll need to take drugs for the rest of your life that keep your body from rejecting your new lung. You’ll also have lots of tests to see how well your lungs are working and regular physical therapy.

If you're considering a lung transplant, you'll need emotional support from family and friends. Support groups can help by putting you in touch with people who are also getting or have had transplants. Ask your doctor about programs that can help explain what to expect before and after the surgery.

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

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What new treatments are available for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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