Advances in cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment have resulted in people living longer healthier lives, however some people will still require an organ transplant to further prolong their lives. Most commonly this will be lung transplantation, but may also be the liver or pancreas.

Lung Transplant

Lung transplant surgery is an end-stage treatment that replaces both diseased lungs with healthy donor lungs. The main goal of lung transplantation in CF is to extend life expectancy and improve your quality of life.

The workup for transplant is extremely thorough and extensive. All body systems are screened and treatment is provided to optimise lung function, nutrition and mental wellbeing. The guidelines for consideration for lung transplant in people with CF are:

  • low lung function (FEV1 < 30% predicted or a rapid decline, especially in females)
  • exacerbation requiring ICU admission (intensive care unit)
  • increasing requirements for antibiotics
  • pneumothorax (air leak into the space between the lung and chest wall)
  • uncontrolled haemoptysis (coughing of blood)
  • a significant decline in quality of life

There may be reasons why you would choose not to have a transplant or may not be a suitable candidate. It is important to discuss your options with your CF team.

If you do decide to go ahead with a transplant, you will be added to the wait list. Some patients only wait a few days or weeks for their transplant, but most wait between 6 – 18 months.

Post-transplant management is onerous and requires multiple medications including anti-rejection and antibiotics, lung function monitoring and regular sputum sampling.

Australia has some of the best transplant results in the world and accordingly, survival after a lung transplant is higher in Australia than anywhere else. Most patients report returning to a relatively normal life after their lung transplant.

Transplant Support

We offer support to individuals and their carers, both before and after transplant.

Pre-transplant support services may include:

  • Exercise support
  • Fortnightly cleaning packages
  • Portable oxygen concentrator
  • Counselling
  • Individual peer support

Post-transplant support services may include:

  • Exercise support
  • Short term cleaning package
  • Annual post-transplant peer support event
  • Counselling
  • Individual peer support

We have the following transplant resources available:

For more information or support, contact our Services team on services@cfwa.org.au or phone 08 6224 4100.

Other Resources

Cystic Fibrosis South Australia (CFSA) have created a series of interviews with lung transplant recipients, asking them about their experiences before and after receiving a lung transplant.

Click here to view now.

Other Useful Resources:

CFWA Member Transplant Stories
Adult Stories
Stacey’s Transplant Story

Stacey is 31 and has a 13 year old son, Jack.  She enjoys watching her son play sport, going with her family to the movies…

Adult Stories
Gavin’s Transplant Story

Gavin is a family man, with a lovely wife and three children.  He is also highly motivated and a keen swimmer, having swum the Rottnest…

Adult Stories
Jo’s Transplant Story

Jo is currently teaching introductory classes of Tai Chi in Bayswater and attends Edith Cowan University to finish off a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education….

Adult Stories
Shannon’s Transplant Story

At 30, Shannon has worked as a radio producer and presenter, as a DJ around Perth, managed a band, written music reviews and coordinated communications…

Adult Stories
Daniel’s Transplant Story

Daniel is 28 and enjoys spending time with his beautiful fiancé Rikke. Daniel has a passion for computers, and all things electronic. At what age…

Adult Stories
Angela’s Transplant Story

Angela is 35, works as a teacher, is married to Tim and has a beautiful little two year old girl, Rosie. Angela was diagnosed with…

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