New System Gives Hospitals More Time For Lung Transplants

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital is one of seven hospitals in the country using a new technology to perform lung transplants.

lungs

Photo: IU Health

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital is one of seven centers in the country that is now using the XVIVO Lung Perfusion System

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital is one of seven centers in the country that is now using the XVIVO Lung Perfusion System.

The system allows surgical teams to take somewhat marginal lungs, place them on the machine to study them and then perform interventions to improve the lung so it’s usable for transplant.

The first surgery was performed six weeks ago on a patient who had end-stage lung disease. It was the first one in the state using XVIVO technology.

Surgical Program Director Dr. Thomas Wozniak says this means an increased availability of lungs for patients on transplant waiting lists.

“The basic thing that we’re trying to address is the donor shortage,” Wozniak said. “The majority of solid-organ donors do not have lungs that are suitable for transplantation, generally because of some sort of damage, whether it be from a ventilator or from an automobile accident.”

IU Health Pulmonary Medical Director Dr. David Roe says currently the limited availability of lungs means some people die while they are waiting for a transplant.

“We are very pleased and very blessed to be able to utilize this tech to increase the availability for lungs for patients on our waiting list because what we don’t want to have happen is our patients could unfortunately die on our waiting list if we’re not able to transplant them secondary to their end-stage lung disease.”

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