Lung transplant specialist Fernando Torres, M.D., sees something magical happen when one of his patients receives a lung transplant: They can breathe again, without an oxygen tank.
"We give patients with advanced lung disease a new life.”
People who develop advanced lung disease see their quality of life deteriorate over time, but within two weeks after receiving a lung transplant, everything changes.
“They can start doing things they could only dream of up to that point,” Dr. Torres says.
A pulmonologist by training, Dr. Torres directs UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Lung Transplant Program, which has grown into one of the largest in the country. Thanks to the program’s development of donor management procedures, the wait time for a lung transplant has been shortened to only months.
He sees lung transplantation as the safety net for patients with pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and other advanced lung diseases.
When patients with advanced lung disease can no longer benefit from medical therapy, Dr. Torres steps in to explain lung transplantation, follow them through the transplant process, and help them recover after surgery.
Dr. Torres and his team of physicians have specialized training in lung transplantation. They work in tandem with the physicians in the advanced lung diseases programs to determine the best course of treatment for these patients. This specialization distinguishes them from other programs in the region.
He is also involved in clinical research. He is currently investigating increasing the supply of donor organs through improved technology that assesses the organs. In a separate clinical trial, he is part of a multicenter effort to improve survival in lung transplant patients using novel medications for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) viral infection.