Damaged lungs can make it challenging for the body to receive the oxygen it requires to function. There exist many diseases as well as conditions which either damage the lungs entirely or hinder their ability to operate effectively. Some of these conditions are:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
- Cystic fibrosis
- Scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Severe bronchiectasis
- Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM Lung Disease)
No organ or tissue can survive without oxygen. Oxygen is used throughout the body in chemical reactions to produce energy. The chemical reactions create carbon dioxide as a waste product. Carbon dioxide must then be removed from the body. This is called “gas exchange” (exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide). The lungs perform both sides of this vital gas exchange for the entire body, both taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.
Normal lungs are soft and spongy. They are made up of elastic tissue that allows them to stretch. If because of any disease condition the lungs cannot perform their function effectively and the same cannot be treated with medications or medications are no longer working, transplanting lungs is the option.
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