She decided to receive a lung transplant, involving the replacement of her severely afflicted left lung with a segment of her husband’s lung. The medical team had initially planned to extract his lower left lobe, but found the size was too small and the desired treatment effects would not be achieved.
They therefore decided to transplant his right lower lobe instead, which was about 20 percent larger. If a right lung lobe is rotated to replace the left lung, the length and direction of the blood vessels do not fit, which greatly complicates the operation.
In preparation, the team created models using a 3-D printer that precisely reproduced the positions of lungs, hearts and blood vessels of the patient and her husband based on computed tomography data. Surgical procedures were discussed using the models, and then were carried out in early March.
According to the hospital, the recipient is steadily recovering and was discharged from the hospital on May 10. Her husband also returned to work. Date said, “Though there have been instances in the past where patients gave up because the donors’ lungs were small, there is the possibility that such cases can be treated.”
(The Japan News)