Heart and Lung Domino Transplant
* SPOILER ALERT Additional information from the comments of my book review of Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell*
People with Cystic Fibrosis in respiratory failure require both lungs need to be replaced. For a surgeon, it is technically easier to replace both the heart and lungs together, and as most people with Cystic Fibrosis usually have a healthy heart, it is possible to transplant their heart into a second recipient.
There are added risks with a domino transplant, not all lung transplant patients require cardiopulmonary bypass, yet this treatment is essential for heart transplants. In most cases it does not make medical sense for a patient to relinquish a working organ.
Today, domino heart lung transplants are only performed in those exceptional circumstances which require both a new heart and lungs to achieve maximum benefit for a patient. Bilateral double lung transplants are now the preferred treatment option for patients in respiratory failure.