How a Breathing Lung Transplant Patient is Singing Again

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A Heartwarming Update on One of the First Patients in Texas to Receive Breathing Lung Transplant Performed at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

Earlier this spring, surgeons at St. Luke’s – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center performed the first breathing lung transplant in the state of Texas and the third in the country. The transplant was led by Dr. Gabriel Loor, surgical director of the lung transplant program and co-chief, section of adult cardiac surgery at Baylor St. Luke’s and associate professor of surgery and director of lung transplantation in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

The transplant was performed using the newest generation of EVLP platforms, Transmedics Organ Care System (OCS), a portable device designed to keep donor lungs functioning and “breathing” in human-like conditions from the time of the donor procedure to the transplant surgery. The device maintains the organ in its own physiologic state with warm blood perfusion, ventilation and a sophisticated monitoring system to continually assess the organ in flight.

Silvano Trino, a Miami resident, traveled nearly 1,500 miles to Houston to be treated at Baylor St. Luke’s, the only hospital who was willing to treat his condition, eventually becoming one of the first to receive a breathing lung transplant in Texas.

The transplant significantly improved Silvano’s quality of life. Now, simple activities that many may take for granted, like opening cans, taking a shower, walking upstairs and changing clothes are exciting accomplishments for Silvano.

“I’m doing much better. I’m even singing and can go a long time without running out of breath,” said Silvano. That’s a significant improvement from his condition before the surgery, when he was hooked up to a breathing machine that made daily calculations of how much oxygen he had for the week. “I’m so thankful to all the doctors and nurses. Nobody likes to go to the hospital, but if I have to go, I choose to go to Baylor St. Luke’s because I know they will take good care of me.”

Dr. Loor is the International Principal Investigator for the largest study in the U.S. evaluating the ability to increase the number of useable donor lungs using OCS technology. He is exploring ways to significantly expand the amount of time an organ can be out of the body prior to transplant, which expands the available donor pool and opens more opportunities for patients waiting for life-saving organ donations, as time and location are no longer limiting factors.

The lung transplant program at Baylor St. Luke’s in Houston’s renowned Texas Medical Center continually strives to meet the needs of patients through innovative breakthrough research and cutting-edge technology, and is committed to compassionate quality health care that improves and saves lives.

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