The Pulmonary Retransplant Registry

When were lung transplants and retransplants first done?

Lung transplantation was first attempted in humans during the 1960s. During that time, powerful and selective anti-rejection drugs were not available and poor healing of the airway was common, resulting in a high mortality due to technical complications of surgery, lung graft rejection and infection. The advent of the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine and improved surgical techniques in the early 1980s resulted in successful heart-lung and isolated lung transplantation. To date, approximately 6,500 patients have undergone single or bilateral lung transplantation and 2,200 have received combined heart-lung grafts. Pulmonary retransplantation was first performed in 1985, with most of the retransplant procedures having taken place since 1991.

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