Man recovering after double-lung transplant

A MAN in his mid-50s is understood to be making a good recovery after undergoing the first double-lung transplant to be carried out in Ireland.

A team of surgeons in the Mater Hospital in Dublin operated on the man, believed to be from the west, in the early hours of yesterday morning. The operation, carried out in hospital’s National Heart/Lung Transplantation Unit, took around five hours to complete.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the patient, who suffers from emphysema, was doing well in intensive care yesterday.

It is understood, however, that the next 48-72 hours will be critical for the man.

The dangers of such operations are always infection and rejection - but antibiotics and anti-rejection drugs are given to reduce such risks.

Advances in transplant surgery and medicine, however, have made outcomes better in recent years.

The hospital spokesperson said the operation would not have been possible without the generosity of the organ donor and their family.

Up to last year, transplant patients had to travel to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to be operated on.

In May, Limerick woman Veronica Doyle underwent the first single-lung transplant at the Mater Hospital and is enjoying a new lease of life. A total of four single-lung transplants have been performed at the hospital, including one in the last couple of weeks.

Ms Doyle is the only transplant recipient who decided to go public about her life-saving procedure.

Currently, there are 17 people are on the hospital’s waiting list for single and double-lung transplants. Some will continue to go to Britain until the transplant unit is fully operational.

The team that operated on the man were led by transplant surgeon, Freddie Wood. Other surgeons that assisted included Lars Nolke and Jim McCarthy. The lead physician was Dr Tim Egan.

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