I am accompanying my mom to a 2nd doctor's appointment on whether she is eligible for a lung transplant. My brother went on the first one last year, but I believe she was rejected because of lung function on the 6 minute walking test. How can I best support her and, if necessary, advocate for her on this doctor's appointment? Are there questions I should be asking that I might not think of?


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Thank you for the advice. My mom has emphysema - I should have specified that. She was diagnosed a little over a year ago.

Katey, you're wise to be thinking about what to ask before the appointment.

You don't state why your mother needs a lung transplant, so I'll make some broad assumptions.

1. Is the condition she has treatable and/or curable by a lung transplant? Or is it a "bandaid" for her existing condition?

2. What are the criteria for going ahead with a transplant? Confirm why the earlier consideration wasn't acted upon - specifically what were the issues, are they present now, and what other considerations might prevent a transplant?

3. Are there lungs available (that seems like an odd question to ask!) or is she on a transplant list? If the latter, what are the estimated waiting times?

4. What are the risks and benefits, especially percentage wise?

5, What can she expect during surgery, what kind of anesthesia (general, presumably), how will the anesthesia affect her, and what can she expect afterwards I terms of recovery?

6. Will her recovery be completely in the hospital or will she need care in a nursing home? What's the estimated time for recovery?

6. What are negative options of the surgery, and what might go wrong?

7. What medicines, restrictions, activities will she face after surgery?

8. Is there any specific cause for her existing condition, and can it return after a transplant? If it does, what then?

9. What are the risks of organ rejection, what meds will be administered before, during and after surgery to minimize those risks?

10. If organ rejection does occur, what are the options next?

11. What are the best and worse case scenarios?

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