Dr. Pravin Kulkarni

Consultant-Adult Cardiac Surgery,Aortic & Transplant Surgeon

Heart –Lung transplants

Heart-lung transplantation itself is not a particularly difficult operation technically. It is the setting in which this procedure is performed which is difficult. The three issues of importance in a successful outcome are the appropriate harvest of the heart-lung bloc from the donor, careful explant of the heart and lungs of the recipient, and finally the implant of the heart-lung bloc into the recipient.

None of this requires extraordinary technical skill but does require careful coordination and planning as well as adhering to some fundamental principles. One of the major pitfalls encountered is bleeding related to the explant procedure.

Heart-lung transplantation is a major investment in resources of all sorts including financial, personnel, as well as organs themselves. It is absolutely imperative that this procedure be performed only by experienced surgeons in centers with established expertise.