Dr. Daniel Dilling, medical director of Loyola's Lung Transplant department and Medical Intensive Care Unit, talks about a range of lung disease, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
IPF causes progressive scarring of the lungs, which makes it very hard to breathe. The median lifespan of a patient diagnosed with this disease is only three years, so it is a very serious condition. IPF is the most common reason that people undergo lung transplants.
Another serious condition of the lungs is cystic fibrosis. This is a genetic disease and the third leading reason why people get a lung transplant. Many young people are found to have this condition. It leads to bronchiectasis, which is an enlargement of the very small airways. This results in lung infections. Dr. Dilling also talks about emphysema and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease. These are usually caused by smoking, but not always.
He also discusses lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM. It affects women of child-bearing age. In this disease, women develop cysts within their lungs. These cysts eventually crowd out normal lung tissue, making it harder for women to breathe. One medication has finally been developed to help to treat these patients. Loyola now treats about one-third of all LAM patients in the U.S.
Loyola's Lung Transplant program has performed more lung transplants than any other hospital in Illinois, Dr. Dilling says. Only a select number of hospitals have the expertise and resources to perform this operation and care for lung transplant patients. Lung transplant is only chosen if the patient is in the end stages of their disease. But it is a high risk operation.
Loyola also holds clinical trials and can offer patients leading-edge treatment options. This very important work leads to improved treatment for the future.
Dr. Dilling's last message: Don't smoke and if you do, then quit! The consequences are just too serious.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call 888-LUHS-888 (888-584-7888).