For people who suffer from conditions like cystic fibrosis (CF), pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, severe lung damage can lead to an extremely difficult and low quality of life. Many of these patients decide to undergo lung transplantation surgery in hopes of regaining the quality of life they have lost. In this episode of Patient Power, we meet Dr. Michael Mulligan, director of the lung transplantation program at the University of Washington Medical Center.
The University of Washington lung transplant doctors are leading the way in the Pacific Northwest to improve survival rates. The program received commendation in 2007 from the Department of Health and Human Services for its high rate of organ utilization and the superb outcomes patients seen at one, three, and five years after transplant. Dr. Mulligan explains the three phases of the transplantation process and what has to be in place for a successful transplant to happen. Learn about the vast amount of coordination that must take place and the importance of educating practitioners about the role they play at each step. Patients come from far-and-wide to get treatment at the UW Medical Transplant Center because of the program’s relatively short waiting time for organs as compared to the national average.
Listen to two lung transplant patients, Annette Lasher, a COPD, ex-smoker and Max Haggerty, a 23-year-old CF patient, as they share their stories of waiting for a pair of new lungs, having the surgery, and living with the results. Mr. Haggerty talks about his experience of meeting the donor family, and Ms. Lasher speaks about The Living Legacy Foundation she is involved with now. Both individuals are prime examples of the tremendous gift organ donation provides. As Dr. Mulligan says, “I think it’s—I don’t like words like obligation but it’s just part of being—part of the human race that you look after one another. We ought to be looking after one another, and this is a legacy that we can leave that will resonate with somebody else’s life in a very positive way. It is a tremendous gift that you can provide to someone else, so we all need to do that.” He goes on to explain the importance of health professionals being vigilant to maintain the integrity of the organs throughout the process as well. It is clear that with Dr. Mulligan at the helm, the UW lung transplant program is ready to fully embrace its role on the national stage.
Michael Mulligan, M.D.
Director of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Seattle Cancer Care AllianceDr. Michael Mulligan is a Thoracic Surgeon specializing in Head, Neck and Lung cancer at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and is an Associate Professor in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Division at the University of Washington. His clinical interest lies in lung transplantation, thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, lung volume reduction surgery and benign and malignant lung and esophageal disease. Dr. Mulligan received... more >