Patient Care — Medicare Approves Lung Transplant Center
University of Texas Health Science Center At San Antonio
University Health System
Lung Transplantation - 210-567-5777
Adult Lung Transplant - Dedicated to the Care of Patients with Pulmonary Disease
The Lung Transplant Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center and University Health System was established in 1987 by Dr. J. Kent Trinkle. a pioneer in Lung Transplantation. University Health System in partnership with the Health Science Center has been leaders in the care of people with end stage lung disease. Our Lung Transplant program has a strong history of research, education, creative innovation, comprehensive bilingual medical expertise and surgical excellence. Our program is Medicare certified as of March 1, 2007 and our survival statistics exceed national averages. We have transplanted some of the longest surviving lung transplant patients in the nation in addition to some of the eldest.
Our lung transplant team, led by Dr. Scott Johnson, includes Drs. A.J. Carpenter, Edward Sako, Luis Angel, Dan DeArmond, Debbie Levine, John Calhoon, and V. Seenu Reddy.
Pioneering Force in Lung Transplantation
- In 1987 we performed the first lung transplant in North America for the treatment of emphysema.
- In 1987 we performed the first heart/double lung transplant in San Antonio.
- In 1989 we performed one of the first single lung transplants in the World for pulmonary hypertension.
- Development and Implementation of a Physician Driven Donor Protocol
Dr. J. Kent Trinkle developed a new method of lung transplant surgery called "telescoping" of the anastomosis of the airways . This was developed to decrease the problems of rupture and narrowing of the new connection between the donor and recipient's airways.
- 1, 3, and 5 Year Patient Survival Rates that Exceed National Averages
- The Shortest Wait Time in the Nation
A lung transplant may be needed for the following diseases:
Interstitial Lung Diseases
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
Pulmonary Manifestations of Collagen Vascular Disease
Pulmonary Vascular Disorders
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)
Obstructive Lung Diseases
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)/Emphysema
Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
Patients must be evaluated to determine their candidacy for transplantation. An initial visit will be scheduled with our transplant pulmonologist, surgeon and coordinator. This visit will determine if the patient should proceed with the transplant evaluation. If performed at our facility the evaluation will take up to 4 days.
The evaluation consists of:
- Urine tests
- Radiologic tests
- Heart and Lung tests
- Tests for osteoporosis
- Dental consult
- Interview with a social worker
- Gastrointestinal consult for patients with scleroderma or a history of reflux
- Females: pap smear and mammogram
Our diverse and specialized transplant team:
- Cardiothoracic Surgeons and Pulmonologists specializing in lung transplantation
- Nurse Transplant Coordinators
- Financial counselors
- Clinical nurse specialist for transplant
- Discharge planner
- Transplant social workers
- Transplant dietician
- In-patient rehabilitation facility
Lung Transplant Candidate Selection
- Patients with advanced lung disease: Failed all possible medical therapies available to them.
- High risk of death in two or three years
- Functionally disabled but still able to ambulate
Most Transplant Patients...
- Are in surgery approximately 3-7 hours
- Spend 1 day on the breathing machine
- Spend 1-2 days in the intensive care unit
- Are discharged 7-12 days after their surgery
The J. Kent Trinkle Transplant unit creates an atmosphere dedicated to the compassionate care of the patient and family:
- State of the art facilities
- Cutting edge technology
- All private rooms
Follow up Care
After transplant, patients are followed closely in our clinic. The first 3 months we require weekly visits to our clinic. During this period blood levels are drawn to adjust medications as necessary; chest x-rays and pulmonary functions tests are performed to assess the condition of the lungs. After the first 3 months the appointments will be scheduled further apart depending on the progress of the patient. Once the patient is stable we start sharing responsibility with the referring pulmonologist for patient care. We strongly encourage the referring doctor to contact us with any questions or problems.
Reasons not to transplant
- Advanced heart, kidney or liver disease
- HIV infection
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatits C with proven cirrhosis by liver biopsy
- Current substance abuse: tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs
- Body weight less than 80% or greater than 120% of predicted
- Inability to carry out the responsibilities necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain compliant with all medications
Other Areas of Expertise
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Lung cancer
- Tracheal stenosis
- Complicated pleural effusions
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Rigid bronchoscopy
- Stent placement
- Laser, Cryotherapy, Electrocoagulation
- Medical thoracoscopy under conscious sedation
- Percutaneous tracheostomy