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Midwest’s first breathing lung transplant performed at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview

A team of University of Minnesota cardiothoracic transplant experts have performed the Midwest’s first “breathing lung” transplant, an innovative surgical approach that utilizes technology capable of keeping donated lungs warm and breathing during transportation, keeping them healthier prior to transplant.

The double-lung procedure led by Gabriel Loor, M.D., assistant professor in the Medical School’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was performed in the last week at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. The patient, a 51-year-old man from Minnesota, had been suffering from emphysema. He is currently doing well in his recovery.

During traditional transplants donated lungs are removed, placed on ice for transportation and thawed at the transplantation site. In a breathing lung transplant, a TransMedics Organ Care System is used to pump blood and oxygen through donated lungs to keep them breathing during transport, essentially simulating conditions of the human body. At the same time, the machine allows for continuous monitoring of the organ, giving surgeons information about quality and how the lungs are faring in transit.

“The breathing lung transplant approach is a totally different mentality on how we perform these procedures, allowing us to improve the function of donor lungs prior to transplant while getting unprecedented data about their condition,” said Loor. “Our hope is that by making this approach available here, we can increase our ability to transplant more donor lungs into the patients that need them, even at greater distances from our transplant center.”

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From the media: KARE11, FOX9, KSTP, WCCO, Pioneer Press, MPR
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  1. April 12, 2016 11:04 pm | Willa Phillips Says:

    My name is Willa I’m currently a lung transplant recipient on the waiting list, and to know that there’s another way more defining to help viable functioning lungs to stay alive, give a person like me more hope, lve been on the lung transplant list for close to 2 years now, for two unbelievable reasons 1, I’m only listed in two transplant clinics so far, because of beening limited to how far I can travel outside of my state to stay on the waiting list, 2, I’ve been told that by me beening diagnosed with Alph1 Antitripsindefieciency, that I have very high Alkiline phosphate level that’s keeping me from receiving a match, but with this type of availablity opens up wider doors for me to have, and you never no one of those rejected lungs could be a match that could help a desperate person like me,

    Please I’m accepting all feed back, all advise, and all resources… Last but not lease all prayers… Please feel free to respond I’m DESPRERATELY SEEKING HELP!!