OBJECTIVE: To evaluate post-operative complications in living lobar lung transplant donors. METHODS: Between September of 1999 and May of 2005, lobectomies were performed in 32 healthy lung transplant donors for 16 recipients. The medical charts of these donors were retrospectively analyzed in order to determine the incidence of postoperative complications and alterations in pulmonary function after lobectomy. RESULTS: Twenty-two donors (68.75%) presented no complications. Among the 10 donors presenting complications, the most frequently observed complication was pleural effusion, which occurred in 5 donors (15.6% of the sample). Red blood cell transfusion was necessary in 3 donors (9.3%), and 2 donors underwent a second surgical procedure due to hemothorax. One donor presented pneumothorax after chest tube removal, and one developed respiratory infection. There were two intra-operative complications (6.25%): one donor required bronchoplasty of the middle lobe; and another required lingular resection. No intra-operative mortality was observed. Post-operative pulmonary function tests demonstrated an average reduction of 20% in forced expiratory volume in one second (p < 000.1) compared to pre-operative values. CONCLUSIONS: Lobectomy in living lung transplant donors presents high risk of post-operative complications and irreversible impairment of pulmonary function. Careful pre-operative evaluation is necessary in order to reduce the incidence of complications in living lobar lung transplant donors.
Lung transplantation; Living donors; Pneumonectomy; Postoperative complications