Why Choose Northwestern Medicine
We offer a multidisciplinary approach to care for patients with advanced lung disease. The Lung Transplant Program brings together a team of experts in conditions such as:
- Adult cystic fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Interstitial lung disease
- Primary and secondary pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- COVID -19
- Certain types of cancer confined to the lungs
At Northwestern Medicine, we are dedicated to research and innovation. Our team has made fundamental discoveries to improve the care of patients undergoing lung transplants.
According to the 2023 SRTR Report, the Lung Transplant Program had the best outcomes for lung transplants in Illinois in 2023. We also performed the most lung transplants in the state and were No. 6 in the U.S. for number of lung transplants performed, per the 2023 SRTR Report.
Meet the Team
Comprehensive Team Approach
We are committed to providing coordinated, comprehensive care tailored to your needs. We maintain open communication with your referring physician so that they can stay involved in your care.
Your care team, which includes you and your referring physician, meets regularly. It includes:
- Pulmonologists: Pulmonologists are physicians who specialize in lung disease and other lung conditions that can lead to needing a transplant. Your pulmonologist will perform a thorough exam, review your medical history and determine if a transplant fits your needs for treatment. They will also help manage your condition before and after lung transplant surgery.
- Transplant surgeons: Our transplant surgeons specialize in lung transplantation. Your surgeon will work with your pulmonologist to determine if transplantation is your best treatment option. They also will explain the procedure and potentials risks to you. They will perform your transplant.
- Transplant nurse coordinators: Your transplant nurse coordinator will work closely with you through each step of the transplant process.
- Transplant pharmacists: Transplant pharmacists have extensive knowledge and experience with medications that you need to help prevent organ rejection. They will help you understand your medications’ purposes, potential side effects and how they may interact with other medications.
- Advanced practice providers (APPs): These members of your care team have graduate degrees and special training for lung transplant care. They work with your medical and surgical team to provide care before and after your transplant.
- Dietitians: Your dietitian will manage your nutrition throughout the transplant process. They will also help you with any special dietary needs.
- Physical therapists: To help ensure you are in the best possible physical condition before and after surgery, your physical therapist will assess your needs. Then, they will create an exercise program that will help you build strength and endurance.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation specialists: Your pulmonary rehabilitation specialist will help with breathing exercises to increase your lung function.
- Referring physicians: Your transplant team will work with your referring physician(s) to provide care for you after surgery. The relationship with your primary care physician and pulmonologist is key. They both play a vital role in your routine care after your transplant.
- Social workers: Your social worker will advocate to address any psychosocial needs you have during the transplant process.
- Psychologists: Your psychologist will help you understand and cope with the stress of transplant surgery. They have a great deal of experience working with patients before and after lung transplant.
- Patient liaison: Your patient liaison will coordinate and manage your referral to the Lung Transplant Program. They will work to get your medical records that our team needs. They will also help ensure you get financial clearance from your health insurance before your evaluation.
Members of the lung transplant team are experts in the fields of advanced lung disease.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency
- Certain types of cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- COVID-19 Fibrosis
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Scleroderma and other connective tissue disorders
In the News
- Double lung transplant gives patients hope of becoming cancer-free
- Health Watch: Double Lung Transplants
- Doctors perform a rare double lung transplant on two patients with rare genetic condition
- Kentucky teacher Emily Presley returns home for Thanksgiving after double-lung transplant at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago
- Man With Double Lung Transplant to Celebrate Christmas After 2 Years
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- Surgeons Race Against Time to Transplant Lungs in Dad Who Survived COVID-19: Part 2
- Illinois Smokers Now Prioritized for the Coronavirus Vaccine
- The Ravages of COVID-19 Fuel Demand for Double Lung Transplants
- Northwestern Study Finds COVID-19 Can Result In Irreversible Lung Damage
- Double Lung Transplant Gives Suburban Woman New Chance at Life
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- Two Northwest Indiana Men Celebrate Successful Lung Transplants
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- Chicago Woman With Rare Condition Shares How Blood Donations Helped Save Her Life
- Nancy Spira's Life Saved Thanks to Blood Donations
- Lung Recipient Celebrates Life With Every Step