Transplant Candidates

Who Is a Transplant Candidate?

The Lung Transplant Program treats patients with advanced lung disease who may be good candidates for lung transplantation. Candidates may be suffering from the following conditions:

After the lung transplant team* receives your medical records and information listed on the transplant referral checklist, the following will happen:
  • A pre-transplant nurse coordinator will collect your medical history, radiology studies, recent blood work and current physical findings.
  • The lung transplant and hepatology teams will review your information to determine if a transplant evaluation is appropriate.
  • If a transplant evaluation is found to be appropriate, we will obtain insurance authorization and contact you to schedule an evaluation.

Transplant evaluation

The Lung Transplantation Program works closely with multidisciplinary teams to provide exceptional care along the entire spectrum of life-threatening lung diseases. This includes comprehensive evaluations for transplantation.
Evaluations include diagnostic testing and consultations with:

  • Transplant surgeon
  • Pulmonologist
  • Transplant coordinator
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Financial coordinator
  • Nutritionist
  • Other specialists, as needed

A multidisciplinary team reviews each patient’s case at a selection meeting and makes decisions regarding approval of lung transplant candidates. We will notify you of our decision approximately one week after the evaluation.

For those patients not approved for lung transplantation, our transplant team can refer them to expert lung specialists who can provide medical therapy and additional treatment options. Reasons a candidate might not be considered for lung transplantation include:

  • Chronic infection
  • Cancer that has metastasized (spread)
  • A severe heart condition
  • Other condition that prohibits surgery
  • Unsuitability for follow-up treatments

Related Resources


The Northwestern Medicine Lung Transplant Program


  • American Lung Association: This organization is working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy.
  • American Society of Transplantation: This website’s Patient Information section offers a number of resources for transplant patients.
  • Coalition on Donation: The organization promotes organ donation and provides education about it.
  • Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network: Website of the not-for-profit organ procurement organization that works with hospitals and donor families in the northern three-fourths of Illinois and northwest Indiana. The organization is responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for medical transplantation in the service area, as well as for professional and public education on organ and tissue donation.
  • MedlinePlus: This is a trusted source that covers all aspects of organ donation and provides easy access to medical journal articles, extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials and the latest health news.
  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI): This division of the National Institutes of Health offers information about the lung transplantation process.
  • National Organ and Tissue Donation Initiative: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is undertaking this initiative to ease the critical shortage of organ and tissue donors by building a national community of organ sharing.
  • Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN): OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links all of the professionals involved in the donation and transplantation system. Its goals are to increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation and the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
  • Transplant Living: This is the United Network for Organ Sharing patient education site for all transplant patients.
  • TransWeb: TransWeb's mission is to provide information about donation and transplantation to the general public to promote organ donation and to provide transplant families with information dealing specifically with transplant issues.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS): Through the UNOS Organ Center, organ donors are matched to waiting recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through its policies, UNOS ensures that all patients have a fair chance at receiving the organ they need—regardless of age, sex, race, lifestyle, religion, or financial or social status. UNOS members include every transplant program, organ procurement organization and tissue typing laboratory in the United States.
  • U.S. Transplant—Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR): The SRTR supports the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation in the United States.

In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.