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A male nurse escorts a female patient to her room as she recovers from receiving her transplant.

Lung transplants in Houston, Texas

The Lung Transplant Program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is a national leader in advanced lung disease and is designated as a transplant center of excellence by Optum/United Healthcare, which is among the largest insurance networks in the country. Our multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care before, during, and after transplant. 

Lung transplantation has been successfully performed in carefully selected patients who develop irreversible lung damage due to COVID-19. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is one of the few centers worldwide offering lung transplantation for COVID-19 patients.

Physicians and surgeons at Baylor St. Luke’s have extensive expertise in treating patients in many areas of lung transplantation, such as:

  • Single and double lung transplantation
  • Multi-organ transplants
  • Patients with extended risk i.e. coronary artery disease
  • Anti-rejection strategies


Referral Process:

At the time a referral is received it is processed and reviewed by our transplant coordinator and transplant pulmonologist then submitted to our financial team to review potential transplant costs, insurance coverage, and out of pocket expenses. After insurance is cleared the potential candidate will be scheduled to have an initial consult with our transplant pulmonologist to review their case and discuss their options. Once it is determined that a candidate has met the criteria to undergo a pre-transplant evaluation an official evaluation further testing will be required to help with making the determination to make sure the patient is a good candidate.

Evaluation Process:

During the evaluation process the potential candidate will need to complete several tests which may include:

  •  Pulmonary Function test
  •  Six-minute walk
  •  Arterial Blood gas test
  •  Chest- X-ray
  •  Chest CT scan
  •  Ventilation Perfusion Scan
  •  Electrocardiogram
  •  Echocardiogram
  •  Right and Left Heart Catheterization
  •  Blood draws


Once the testing is completed and reviewed by the transplant pulmonologist pre-transplant evaluation consultations will be set up with the following transplant team to include transplant surgeon, transplant nutritionist, transplant social worker, transplant pharmacist, and the transplant coordinator. Each patient’s case once completed is discussed at a multidisciplinary review board and the determination is made of the patient’s acceptability for listing, unacceptability for listing or the need for further assessment/intervention. Once approved the patient will be placed on the transplant list.

Waiting for Transplantation:

The Baylor St. Luke’s lung transplant list is a part of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a private nonprofit organization that oversees organ allocation across the U.S. Once the patient is actively listed for transplant in UNOS they will continue to follow-up in the pre-transplant clinic until the time of their transplant. It is important while listed that the patient communicates with the transplant team of any of the following changes:

  • Any significant changes in their health
  • Any active infection
  • Admission to the hospital
  • Vacation/travel
  • Changes to insurance


Jose Chavez, Double Lung Transplant, Video:

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U.S. News & World Report

U.S News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties.