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:

  • Increased home care worker support
  • Cleaning package
  • Counselling
  • Buddy program/peer support

Post-transplant support services may include:

  • Personal training
  • Annual post-transplant support event
  • Counselling
  • Buddy program/peer support

We have the following transplant resources available:

For more information or support, contact our Social Worker via email (servicesmanager@cfwa.org.au) or phone 08 6457 7333.

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
Jo Discusses Pain Management Using Tai Chi

Jo Giles underwent a double lung transplant 18 months ago, at the age of 47 years. She has an intimate knowledge of pain and shares…

A Wife’s Perspective

Back in 2011, Hannah was caring for her husband Tim who was waiting for a double lung transplant which he received in received in October…

Life Is Truly Amazing After Transplant

Life is Truly Amazing After Transplant Every person has a different journey, including people living with CF. Some people may find the contents of this…

New Lungs, New Life!

New lungs, New Life! 12 months ago, Fiona’s life was very different, but that was before she received ‘the call’ and was gifted her new…

Turning lives around!

The Advance Lung Disease Program was established at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) in Western Australia in 2005. The program, now in operation at Fiona Stanley…

Life After Transplant

Tina got her transplant just over a year ago. After recovery, Tina wasted no time getting back into life. She and her partner have been…

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