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Can you live with one lung if you chose to donate one?

People can survive even if an entire lung is removed.

Healthy, and non-smoking adults, can donate part of one of their lungs and live a normal life after the surgery. The lung that remains will inflate to take up some extra space. Usually, it doesn't affect everyday tasks or life expectancy. The donor will be able to live a normal life in all aspects with less exercise tolerance for competitive sports. However, on some occasions risks and complications can occur for the donor.

  • immediate surgical risks including, infection, bleeding, pneumothorax, pleural effusion, pericarditis, phrenic nerve injury
  • long-term medical risks, including, chronic incision pain, risks of recurrent infections
  • psychological risks, including the emotional shock caused by the death of the recipient
  • financial risks - time off from work and loss of income
Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/