Lung Transplant Surgery & Procedure

History of excellence in lung transplant

As one of the nation’s leading lung transplant programs, Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center prides itself on a strong history, including the first successful single lung transplant in the U.S. in 1987. We challenge standard limitations, successfully performing lung transplants for patients who are not considered elsewhere because of age or disease complexity.

Houston Methodist Hospital is ranked Best in Texas and No. 15 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for Pulmonology and Lung Surgery. U.S. News & World Report has also named Houston Methodist Hospital one of the nation’s best as a nationally ranked Honor Roll hospital. Learn more.

Offering hope to patients with end-stage lung disease

From cystic fibrosis to idiopathic pulmonary hypertension to COPD, our team is committed to providing our patients with the best care before, during and after transplant. With involvement from pulmonologists, surgeons, pathologists, nurses, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists and other medical staff, we often can help improve lung function while patients wait for transplant, enhancing recovery. For severely critical patients, we offer various types of life support and successfully bridge them to transplant, with good outcomes.


Patients are treated as individuals at Houston Methodist, and we work with each patient’s doctor to manage disease before the patient reaches a crisis level. 

Patient Stories

Perhaps the best way to learn about our highly trained transplant specialists at Houston Methodist is through our patients. We invite you to read about their inspiring patient stories and their experience being a transplant patient at Houston Methodist.


View patient stories > 

Industry recognition

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) has recognized Houston Methodist Hospital as the top hospital in the Houston area for lung transplant in several categories including the number of transplants performed in a year, survival on the wait list and survival following transplant. Learn more.

Advanced research

We are actively involved in advanced research in immunosuppression, pulmonary hypertension management and donor organ perfusion.

Who can benefit from lung transplant?

Whether lung tissue is destroyed by smoking or scar tissue, a transplant may bring back easier breathing and provide years of additional life. 

Most people with severe, end-stage lung disease can be considered for a lung transplant. Lung transplant is a major, delicate surgery. It should be considered when no other options are available.


Many conditions may benefit from lung transplant:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Scleroderma
  • Sarcoidosis 
  • Familial conditions

Life after lung transplant


Many patients no longer require oxygen within just days of transplant, and full recovery takes up to a year. Lung transplant patients require life-long follow-up care and immunosuppressant medications to prevent rejection. Your transplant team is always here to answer your questions and to help you and your family as you adjust to this new life. Learn more.


Our goal is a lifesaving transplant to improve quality of life and allow our patients to resume normal activities for years to come.