Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL. -- loyola Medicine's groundbreaking lung transplant program has reached a new milestone, marking the 30th anniversary of its first lung transplant.

Loyola has performed nearly 950 lung transplants. This is more than four times as many lung transplants as the combined total of all other centers in Illinois combined, according to the federal government's Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network.

"The 30th anniversary is a testament to the commitment of the medical center and the dedication of an outstanding lung transplant team," said Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, surgical director of lung transplantation. "The lives of many people throughout the Midwest have been greatly improved, and as care providers, it is tremendously rewarding to see this change from illness to health."

Daniel Dilling, MD, medical director of lung transportation, noted that relatively few centers worldwide have performed lung transplants for as long and as successfully as Loyola. "We have been on the cutting edge throughout the decades, and we continue to push the envelope to help more people," Dr. Dilling said.

Last year, Loyola performed its first lung transplant using ex vivo lung perfusion. This groundbreaking technology evaluates lungs before transplant, potentially increasing the supply of donor lungs.

Loyola's multidisciplinary lung transplant team regularly evaluates and successfully performs transplants in patients who have been turned down by other centers in Chicago and surrounding states. Despite taking on more challenging cases, Loyola consistently records outstanding outcomes.

The lung transplant program is part of Loyola's advanced lung disease program, which offers second opinions and leading-edge clinical trials. The advanced treatment can in some cases delay or even eliminate the need for a lung transplant.