The first successful lung transplantation for Interstitial Lung Disease patient in Vietnam

16/09/2020 07:58

In the afternoon of 24th August 2020, patient N. V. D (37 years old, from Hoai Duc, Hanoi) was discharged from the hospital after a bilateral lung transplantation a brain dead donor. This is the 5th lung transplantation well conducted in Viet Duc University Hospital.


Mr. D had a long history of illness and been treated with antibiotics and intensive care in many hospitals due to an acute onset of advanced interstitial lung disease, very bad overall health condition. This is the second most common disease in the world with lung transplant indications. Therefore, the patient was screening  and waiting for lung transplantation at a large hospital in Hanoi.


Having learning that Viet Duc University Hospital had had a lot of experience in lung transplantation, patient’s family requested to transfer him here for this complex operation.


On the 7th May 2020, the patient was admitted to the hospital due to severe respiratory failure: shortness of breath, sweating, physical exhaustion, tachycardia… requiring an immediately non-invasive mechanical ventilation on emergency. 


As soon as the patient’s admission, Viet Duc University Hospital’s doctors had performed clinical and para-clinical examinations and consulted with leading experts about this case, soon the lung transplantation was indicated with the direction of Prof. TRAN Binh Giang PhD., MD. – Director of Viet Duc University Hospital.


Concluded that the patient D. still was indicated for lung transplantation but very high-risk candidate due to depleted overall status, low BMI, activities restriction on the bed, continuous oxygen dependence, not good function of all organs caused by end-stage of interstitial lung disease, malnutrition… All the experts agreed to perform a lung transplantation, however in waiting time for lung donation, the patient was provided treatment for control of respiratory infection, rehabilitation and intensive nutritional regime.


On the 13th May 2020, there was a brain-dead due to a head trauma and the family was willing to donate multiple organs including: heart, both lungs, liver and kidney.


After careful assessment of both lungs of donor the matching with patient D., surgical team leading by Ass. Prof. NGUYEN Huu Uoc, PhD., MD., Director of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Center, Viet Duc University Hospital performed successfully a bilateral lung transplantation marked s the 5th lung transplantation conducted at the hospital.

Lung transplantation team


After the transplantation, patient was transferred to surgical intensive care unit of the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Center.


The recovery process of patient D. was prolonged and challenging with a lot of difficulties because patient was depleted with muscular weakness, long-lasting post-transplantation pulmonary infection and very slow recovery of respiratory mucosa. Therefore respiratory care for him was very meticulous such as daily performance of bronchoscopy and suction, kinesitherapy of lung, helped patient to  coughing in order to put out all stagnant phlegm that might worsen pulmonary infection status.


After 3 months of post-transplantation intensive care, patient could self-breath with good ability of coughing, walking and eating. He was discharged with an appointment of regular check.


Patient N. V. D. shared with happiness: “When hearing about the discharge for being reunited with my family, I was exciting and choking with joy. I don’t know how much thanks I have to say. Doctors saved my life”.


Besides, patient D.’s wife just gave birth to a nice baby boy about 2 weeks before his discharge. Therefore, family’s happiness seemed to be multiplied.


Post-transplantation examination

Patient D. and his family were taking memorial photo with medical team

The success of lung transplantation for patient N. V. D was marked as the 8th case in Vietnam and the 5th case at Viet Duc University Hospital entirely performed by Vietnamese doctors.   


This is also the first interstitial lung disease treated by lung transplantation in our country. It is amazingly meaningful because interstitial lung disease accounts for nearly 30% cases of lung transplantation in the world and it is also with poorest prognosis after transplantation.


Since the 1st lung transplantation in 2018, Viet Duc University Hospital doctors has mastered the technique which considered as a pinnacle medicine, in   the hope of making the name of Vietnam on the global map of lung transplantation. 


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