• Transplant Care Before and After Surgery

    Scheduling an Evaluation

    The evaluation will help the lung transplant team to determine if transplantation is the best choice for your child at this time. Before the evaluation is scheduled, we will need to:

    • receive and review records from your child’s referring physician
    • get approval from your child’s insurance

    The evaluation process takes place over 4 days and in most cases does not require your child to be admitted to the hospital.

    During the evaluation, we hope to:

    • Get to know you, your child and your family
    • Talk about what you expect from our team and the evaluation process
    • Give you a chance to get to know our team
    • Discuss your child’s underlying lung disease
    • Share our thoughts about your child’s care before and after transplant
    • Decide if transplant is the best option for your child and your family
    • Define how urgent it is for your child to get a lung transplant

    We will also want to make sure that you, your child and family understands the:

    • Details of your child’s illness
    • Risks, benefits and outcomes of lung transplant
    • Process for lung transplant evaluation and listing

    Tests your child may have during the evaluation:

    • Blood work
    • Pulmonary function testing
    • Chest X-ray
    • Chest CT Scan
    • Physical Therapy Evaluation
    • Abdominal Ultrasound
    • Bone Density Study

    On the last day of the evaluation, you will meet with the transplant provider and transplant care manager to review all available results and to discuss if the team feels your child is ready to be considered for transplant.

  • Care Before Transplant

    Show All

    If the team recommends a transplant, your child will be placed on the national waiting list as soon as possible. There are 3 steps to this process:

    • Approval by the Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium (OSOTC)
    • Financial Approval from your child’s insurance company
      • This is a separate approval from the one we get for the evaluation
      Relocation to the Cincinnati Area
      • We cannot predict when your child will get an offer for transplant. All patients listed for lung transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital must live within 90 minutes of the hospital until the time of transplant. 

    Your child will be seen in the Lung Transplant Clinic at Cincinnati Children's routinely (weekly to every other week) while on the transplant list. As a parent or caregiver, you are the most important member of the transplant team once your child is on the waiting list. The transplant team depends on good communication with you family to help provide the best healthcare possible.

  • Care at Transplant and Afterwards

    Show All

    When a lung becomes available, a transplant care manager will call or page you. After your child arrives to the hospital, he/she will be admitted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU).  At the scheduled time, your child will be taken to the operating room. Transplanting a lung is a long, complex surgery. There are at least two surgeons involved in your child’s transplant. One surgeon will be here in the operating room with your child. A second surgeon is responsible for traveling to the hospital where the donor is located and retrieving the donor lungs. The surgery typically takes 6-8 hours.

    When the transplant is complete, your child will go back to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). Most patients begin to wake up two to ten hours after surgery and are heavily medicated the first 24 hours following surgery. The lung transplant team will see your child every day and will attend rounds with the medical team daily to examine your child, discuss changes and answer questions. Your child will have pain after the transplant surgery. We have special team members who will help your child be as comfortable as possible. When your child is stable, he/she will move out of the CICU to A6C, the cardiothoracic step down unit here at the hospital. Everyone recovers from surgery at a different pace. It is normal to have some days that are better than others as your child recovers.

    Close monitoring and follow up are very important after a transplant. You and your child will be required to remain within 90 miles of the hospital for at least the first 3 months after the transplant surgery. You will be seen 1-2 times a week in the transplant clinic and will be receiving outpatient physical therapy 2-3 times a week. We will be doing blood work and pulmonary function testing frequently as well.

    Our expectation for your child after transplant is for he / she to have a near normal life. Your child will be able to return to their regular routine, including school. You will return to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital every 3-6 months for follow-up. You will complete and send to the transplant team a weekly log of vital signs and home pulmonary function monitoring, so our team can closely monitor for subtle changes in your child’s medical condition. The transplant team will be working closely with your child’s pediatrician and referring physician to ensure the best possible outcome.

  • Ronald McDonald House

    A girl plays at the Ronald McDonald House.

    Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House has been caring for critically ill children and their families for over 30 years. Led by a talented and dedicated Board of Trustees, our caring staff and amazing volunteers work to meet the needs of our guest families so they can focus on what it is most important - their critically ill children.

    Learn more via the Ronald McDonald website or call 513-636-7642.

  • Contact Us

    To reach the Lung Transplant office, call 513-803-7009 or 1-800-344-2462 (extension 3-7009).

    Read More
  • About Us

    During the transplant evaluation, you will meet many people on the Lung Transplant Team.

    Read More