78-Year-Old Man Makes History with Successful Lung Transplant


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78-Year-Old Man Makes History with Successful Lung Transplant



The oldest patient in Asia who got bilateral lung transplantation was 78 years old. The multi-speciality hospital MGM Healthcare in Chennai’s experts accomplished the high-risk operation.

With a patient’s current survival rate of 85% one year and eighty-four per cent after three years after the procedure, we do between twenty and forty lung transplants on average every year.

A 78-year-old man receives the oldest lung transplant in Asia.

The oldest patient in Asia to receive bilateral pulmonary transplants was 78-year-old Santhosh (real name changed). The multi-speciality hospital MGM Health in Chennai’s experts accomplished the high-risk operation.

The complex procedure took place under the direction of Dr KR Balakrishnan, Director of the Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Care Unit, alongside co-director Dr Suresh Rao KG and Director of the pulmonology department Dr Apar Jindal.

Santhosh, a resident of Bangalore, suffered from aspiration pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS). He spent 15 days on a ventilator and over fifty years on ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) therapy.

The doctors advised a lung transplant because the individual was otherwise healthy and could endure surgery, taking into account every advantage and disadvantage of extensive treatment and the age issue. The individual had the operation after being eligible for a brain-dead donor and enrolling on the state donor registry for bilateral lung transplantation.

What is meant by lung transplantation?

In a lung transplant, a healthy lung from a person who passed away is usually used to replace an injured or failing lung. A lung transplant is a last resort for those who have not significantly improved after trying drugs or alternative therapies.

A lung transplant could entail replacing one or both of your lungs, according to your medical condition. Lungs and an anonymous donor’s heart can sometimes be inserted together.

Although a lung transplant is an intensive procedure with numerous possible hazards, it may drastically improve your wellness as well as your level of life.

When deciding how to get a lung transplant, learn as much as possible about how it works, the surgery, any possible risks, and the aftercare.

Objectives of lung transplantation

The norm of care for end-stage pulmonary illness is lung transplantation. Acute rejection, infection, posttransplantation lymphoproliferative condition, bronchiolitis obliterans condition, airway stenosis and dehiscence, and reimplantation response are just a few consequences of lung transplantation. 

Advances in immunosuppressive and surgical methods have considerably reduced the rate of rejection of grafts and airway anastomosis experienced in the early years of lung transplantation. 

For the first six months following transplantation, infection is now the leading cause of passing away. However, chronic rejection or obliterative bronchiolitis is the leading cause of death for the following six months. 

Things that might render you unsuitable for a lung transplant

Not everyone needs a lung transplant as a kind of treatment. Someone might not be a suitable candidate for a lung transplant because of an array of problems. A lung transplant might not be necessary even if a transplant center analyzes each case on a case-by-case premise if you:

  • Possess an active infection or medical breakthrough.
  • Someone who is  given a diagnosis of cancer personally.
  • Having severe ailments, including renal, liver, or coronary artery disease
  • Are unable or unwilling to make the lifestyle adjustments needed to maintain the health of the donor’s lung, such as quitting cigarette smoking or consuming alcohol
  • Do not have a family or social network of assistance which you can rely on

Transplanting the lungs in elderly patients?

Lung transplantation is usually not recommended for patients 65 years of age and older. Our group has offered lung transplantation to only a handful of individuals 65 years of age and older without any other concurrent diseases. In patients 65 years of age and more mature, we aimed to outline lung transplantation’s short- and medium-term effects.

Methods: From March 2000 to September 2006, we reviewed the records of our lung transplant recipients or any medical breakthrough.. Fifty individuals who had transplants within this period were 65 or older. Fifty individuals under 65 were matched to the older cohort using propensity analysis. Analyses were made between the two groups’ survival rates, intraoperative and postoperative characteristics, including demographics.

Key Points

Specific individuals with end-stage lung failure react best to a lung transplant.
Drugs that are used in transplant surgery and recovery can carry substantial risks.
The vast majority of recipients of lung transplants do well.
Not every patient who gets a transplant experiences better wellness or lives longer.


To identify and treat lung transplant problems, radiology is necessary. The range of anticipated radiologic results is affected by improvements in surgical methods and medical therapy. Recognising typical surgical techniques’ radiologic consequences and lung transplant problems is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

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