Pediatric Transplant Expert Forum
Heart/lung transplant for toddler
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Heart/lung transplant for toddler

Hi Dr,

My 2.5 year old son is facing the possible scenario of a heart/lung transplant due to pulmonary hypertension. Depending on what meds help him or don't help him I was just wondering what help this would be on life expectancy? I understand there are risks with body rejection etc I just can't seem to find information of people living a "normal" life after this type of transplant
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Hi Damien3981 - thank you for your question.  I'm sorry to hear that your son might need a heart/lung transplant.  If he does need a heart/lung transplant the antirejection medications will be necessary to keep those organs functioning.  Without immune suppression the organs would fail and his life expectancy would be very short.  Organ transplant simply does not work without immune suppression medications though of course you are right that the medications may also cause problems.  When your son undergoes evaluation for transplant you will receive information about survival statistics for your center.  You can find a lot of information about outcomes from transplants of all kinds at the UNOS website (www.unos.org) and also analysis of the data at the scientific registry of transplant recipients (www.srtr.org).  Bottom line, though there are side effects expected from immune suppression medications, there are certainly heart/lung recipients who have a normal quality of life largely because of those medications.  please do discuss your questions with your transplant center; even if your son is not quite ready for transplant evaluation you can likely have an informational meeting with the team to get an overview.  
best wishes,
Liz Rand
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