Monday, 21 April 2014

Prague hospital performs almost 200 lung transplants in 15 years

ČTK |
3 December 2012

Prague, Dec 1 (CTK) - The Prague-Motol Teaching Hospital, the only lung transplant centre in the Czech Republic, have performed 199 lung transplants in 15 years the results of which are comparable to prestigious centres in the U.S. and West Europe, clinic head doctor Robert Lischke has told CTK.

Professor Pavel Pafko, the Motol clinic's previous head, was the first to start performing lung transplants in the Czech Republic in 1997. He learnt the operational technique in Vienna.

Lischke is his student and successor.

"At present some 20 lung transplants are performed in the Czech Republic a year. The number of operations is limited by the shortage of organs," Lischke said.

Some 40 patients on average are on a waiting list, one third of whom do not live to see the surgery since a suitable organ for transplant is not available in time.

Their chances may increase thanks to a new method that Lischke plans to implement in clinical practice at the beginning of 2013.

The method called "in vivo perfusion" and lungs reconditioning will enable to transplant even the lungs that doctors had to reject in the past.

At present only up to one-fifth of the donors' lungs can be used for transplant eventually.

A lung transplant costs from 740,000 crowns to over one million if the surgery is accompanied by serious complications.

The patients who would survive maximally 1.5 years without a lung transplant and are usually dependent on respiratory devices enter the waiting list.

At present 40 patients are waiting for a lung transplant in the Czech Republic. Their average age is 52 years, while the youngest is 14 and the oldest 69 years old, Transplant Coordination Centre head Pavel Brezovsky said.

A total of 16 children underwent a lung transplant in 15 years, he told CTK.

The most frequent diagnosis demanding a lung transplant is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), followed by various types of fibroses.

The donor and recipient must have the same blood type and similar weight and stature. Lung donors should be up to 60 years old.

"If a (lung) transplant is successful, it is absolutely essential for the patient. It will prolong his/her life and improve its quality. With new lungs he/she can do sport, go to work, study, travel and even have children," Lischke concluded.

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