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Lung Transplant or Cellular Therapy: Weighing All the Options

15 Oct 2017
| Under Lung Transplant, Treatments | Posted by | 16 Comments
Lung Transplant or Cellular Therapy: Weighing All the Options

Deciding when it’s time for a lung transplant can be challenging.

For the millions of Americans suffering from severe chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are few among them that haven’t once considered a lung transplant. However, although traditional and effective alternative treatments exist, lung transplant has the potential to be significantly beneficial, with the ability to improve quality of life to health levels more consistent with those without lung disease. The surgery can also be incredibly invasive, dangerous and potentially life-threatening to the patient—let alone expensive. All of these factors combine into a difficult decision for many: “should I consider getting a lung transplant?”

Although it is impossible to give a clear-cut answer to a question as personal and difficult as this, with your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you the facts you need on getting a Lung Transplant or Cellular Therapy: Weighing All the Options.

When Is It Time to Get a Lung Transplant?

Utilized when lung disease has destroyed most of the lungs’ function, a lung transplant is an effective (although risky) treatment option. With the ability to bring back easier breathing and provide years of life, lung transplants can seem immediately alluring. However, lung transplants by their very nature are inherently invasive surgeries, with major risks and complications commonly associated with them, such as the procedure itself, as well as subsequent difficulties with organ rejection.

As of 2005, the most common reasons for lung transplantation were COPD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), so when is it time to get a lung transplant? In truth, to be a candidate for a lung transplant, your chronic lung disease must be end-stage where there are no other available options and life has lost its enjoyment. Further still, for potential patients over 60 or 65, a lung transplant center may be more hesitant in providing treatment. Nonetheless, if a patient does meet the necessary conditions and decides to seek treatment, there are several pros and cons to consider.

Lung Transplant or Cellular Therapy: Weighing All the Options

The Pros and Cons to Lung Transplant Surgery

Among the benefits to be expected from a lung transplant (whether single or double), more than 80% of lung-transplant patients survive at least one year after the procedure. After three years, that figure drops down from 55-70%. During this time, short-term quality of life is known to see significant improvements with breathing being made easier, a lack of limitations in patients’ physical activity is exhibited and their lung disease symptoms are sharply reduced.

Of the drawbacks of receiving a lung transplant, one can expect several life-altering outcomes. To start:

  • A lung transplant is exorbitantly expensive, with estimations of the cost of the procedure and a year of medication starting at $785,000.
  • Complications are inevitable with the necessity of immuno-suppressive drugs
    • This means greater susceptibility to infections, viruses and other illnesses
  • Long-term outcomes after lung transplantation are disappointing.
  • Lung transplant recipients see among the highest rates of organ rejection
  • Within five years of a transplant, nearly half of living patients will develop a form of chronic rejection known as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS)

With the details of a lung transplant being as complex as they are, maybe it’s time to look at more simplified (and less expensive) alternatives.

Traditional Medication and CellularTherapy

Traditional medication for the treatment of chronic lung disease will be defined as bronchodilator inhalers, corticosteroids, medication and oxygen therapy. And although these treatment options are much less expensive than the initial and ongoing costs of a lung transplant, these options are not without their own side-effects (weight gain, kidney issues, long-term expense) and cannot address the underlying issue with lung disease: progression.

However, an alternative option does exist. Through the implementation of cellular therapy, it’s possible to address not only disease symptoms but the disease’s progression as well. As cellular therapy is designed inherently to use naturally occurring reparative factors within the body’s blood, cellular therapy is not only a natural form of treatment but is also virtually free of any adverse effects. Cellular therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs.

Moving Forward…

It’s important to talk with your doctor and consider any and all options (including lung transplant) on the path to better health. Although COPD can seem insurmountable, the first step to living a longer life is finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on. Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. However, if you’re looking to address COPD progression directly, it may be time to consider cellular therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, cellular therapy directly affects disease progression and can improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like ILD, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult cellular therapy options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.

Interested in our article on Lung Transplant or Cellular Therapy: Weighing All the Options? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Lung Institute

    5 months ago


    Thank you for your question.

    For many of our patients, treatment has helped them feel better and breathe more easily. To hear more from our patients, check out our testimonials page. We look forward to hearing from you soon. 84 percent report an improved quality of life within three months of treatment.


    The Lung Institute

  2. mestdagh rene

    5 months ago

    Suffering from copd is a cells treatment a solution to improve my brathing ? I’m suffocating…..Please contact me.
    Rene Mestdagh

  3. Lung Institute

    5 months ago


    Thank you for your question and we are sorry to hear about your condition. We would suggest you see a specialist to determine if you have a lung disease or asthma. We only treat lung diseases and we do not treat asthma. If you are diagnosed with a lung disease we would be happy to help.

    It’s best to speak with one of our well-qualified medical team to discuss treatment options. We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  4. Nathaniel jacob

    5 months ago

    My problems are asthmatic but my doctor makes me feel at the end I need help my lungs feels blocked up I use all asthma meds not getting much relief can cell help me

  5. Lung Institute

    6 months ago

    C Scott:

    First and foremost we’d like to thank you for your question. Unfortunately, at this time traditional insurance companies such as HMO’s and Medicare have not yet begun to cover cell therapy as a form of treatment. However, this doesn’t mean that cell therapy is necessarily out of reach. For more information, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators on a few alternative methods to cover treatment. you may also check out our website for answers to many of your questions.


    The Lung Institute

  6. C Scott

    6 months ago

    My husband has interstitial lung disease (Glass or metal based) And is on oxygen. Does most insurance cover your cellular treatments? Our insurance is United health Care. He is GETTING worse. Please send me literature/information to my email.

  7. Lung Institute

    6 months ago


    Thank you for your comment. We do not do any treatments for chronic asthma.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment for chronic lung diseases, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  8. David

    6 months ago

    Are you doing any treatment of chronic asthma?

  9. Lung Institute

    8 months ago


    Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that your father is having a difficult time. If you would like to learn more about cell therapy as a treatment option, please call (855) 313-1149 to learn more.


    Lung Institute

  10. Rickey dean

    9 months ago

    My father was GOING up for transplant but had blockages on his heart and was put on blood thinner and is now having to wait until Jan 18 to possibly be a candidate for TRANSPLANT. I fear the wait is far too long and my beloved father ,of only 62, will not make IT as the pulmonary fibrosis is only WORSENING. Please help US.

  11. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Ferree,

    Thanks for your comment and for your feedback. When it comes to FDA regulation of Human Cells, Tissues and Cellular and Tissue-based products (HCT/Ps), the primary distinction between treatments and drugs is whether they have been minimally manipulated or significantly manipulated. Our cell therapy procedures do comply with FDA regulation. You can read more about the FDA’s regulations by clicking here.

    While insurance and Medicare may cover most of the cost of lung transplant surgery, many patients still have large medical bills to cover that are not covered by insurance. It’s important for people to discuss the risks and benefits of any type of medication, surgery or other treatment options with their doctors. While at this time insurance companies don’t cover treatment, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. Ferree

    2 years ago

    Problem is YOUR stem Cell treatment is NOT FDA approve and YOU DO NOT accept any insurance, medicare, medicaid, etc. Lung transplant insurance pays most. So either the Stem Cell Treatment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or someone is pocketing money, which I was told is minimum of $5,000.00. SMH

  13. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your questions. To see a complete list of the lung diseases we treat, click here. You can also contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator to have your cellular treatment questions answered. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  14. Elizabeth

    2 years ago

    Do you have any history of treatment for sufferers of Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension? What were the results?

  15. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Gary,

    Thanks for your questions. To answer these questions, it’s best to speak one-on-one with one of our knowledgeable patient coordinators. They can answer your questions about cellular therapy, how cells work and any other treatment questions you have. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. Gary

    2 years ago

    how do the stem cells returned to the body know they go to the lungs or do the go every where?
    Do they actually repair the damaged air sacks or just prevent further damage?
    If they repair the air sacks why don’t all the air sacs get repaired and lung function get back to 100%?


All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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