The lung transplant program in the Czech Republic is celebrating its 25th anniversary

Prague, December 22, 2022 – The first lung transplant was performed by Professor Pavel Pafko's team from the Prague Faculty Hospital in Motol on December 22, 1997. Today, the Motol hospital is one of the six largest centers in Europe, and at the same time it is the only center with an international program that also provides patient transplants for the Slovak Republic. Last year, for the first time, there were more than fifty of these demanding operations. Since the start of the transplant program, almost 600 patients have received lungs from an organ donor. This year, doctors operated on 18 of them by December 54.

"The national lung transplant program for the Czech Republic and Slovakia has been running since 2018, we are the only center in Europe that cares for several countries. The volume of the center is primarily due to its increasing quality. A high volume of performances is also associated with better results, which is why the volume of performances is such an important indicator." explains prof. MD Robert Lischke, Ph.D., current Head III. surgical clinic of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the UK and Motol General Hospital, who was personally present at the first operation 25 years ago.
Austria has the most transplants per population in Europe. The second is Belgium, which has a population comparable to the Czech Republic and where approximately 100 transplants have been performed annually in recent years. Even in the Czech Republic, according to Professor Lischke, there could be more, but still not every patient who could benefit from a lung transplant is recommended for transplantation.

New lungs are most often received by patients with pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis or idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. Some of the recipients are also those who repeatedly need new lungs after an earlier transplant. According to data from the Transplant Coordination Center, the number of patients waiting this year is between 29 and 42, with an average of 35 patients waiting for a new lung in most months of the year.

"In general, those who need small lungs, such as patients with pulmonary fibrosis and patients of smaller stature, will wait significantly longer and should be put on the waiting list very early, the same is true for patients with zero negative blood type," says Professor Lischke, adding: "This year, we have 96 percent survival of patients operated on this year, XNUMX percent of patients survive one year, and the three-year, five-year and ten-year results are also improving significantly."

Over the past 25 years, there has been a huge shift in all segments of the entire lung transplantation method, from the selection of suitable patients, the care of the donated organ, through the technique of the operation itself, to the intensive and long-term care of transplant patients. Along with this, the results also improve fundamentally.


The University Hospital in Motola is the largest medical facility in the Czech Republic and one of the largest in Europe. It is also the main teaching base for students of the 2nd Faculty of Arts of the UK and also houses some workplaces of the 1st Faculty of Arts of the UK. FN Motol provides basic, specialized and super-specialized health care and services in medical fields in the form of outpatient and inpatient care for children, adults and seniors. Structurally, it consists of two interconnected monoblocks (children's and adult parts) and several separate pavilions. In FN Motol, more than one million patients are treated annually in 56 clinics.

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