University of Pennsylvania Health System

Lung Transplant Update | Penn Medicine

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fitness Before and After Lung Transplant

Regular physical activity is an important component of healthy living for everyone. For lung transplant patients, it’s a critical part of being well-prepared for surgery. It’s also vital during the recovery process after lung transplant surgery.

During the lung transplant consultation at Penn, our team will assess the patient’s current physical condition, and an exercise prescription will be tailored for each patient based on his or her unique health issues.


After the initial recommended program is completed, Rodney Simcox, RRT, manager of the pulmonary rehabilitation program at Penn, recommends continuing physical activity to maintain the progress and optimize health going into surgery.  “The lung transplant surgery is a shock to the body,” Simcox explains. “So I encourage pre-transplant patients to keep working to improve their physical ability so that they are in the best shape possible before transplant. This is one way to help minimize complications and may even contribute to shorter recovery times.”

Penn Medicine provides a low-cost option for pulmonary maintenance for patients who have completed our rehabilitation recommendations but do not have access to a pulmonary rehab facility. For $5.00 a session or $30/month, patients can exercise at the Penn Pulmonary Rehab Gym Monday through Friday, from 2:15 to 3:15 pm.

Local gyms and pulmonary rehab programs at community hospitals are also good options for keeping up the momentum gained during pulmonary rehab.  Simcox notes that, for a variety of reasons, sometimes getting to a gym or pulmonary rehab facility is not an option for some people. “When schedules or transportation issues are challenges for people, it’s still important to stay active,” said Simcox. “One of the most effective activities for improving physical ability is walking. This can be done indoors at a shopping mall when the weather is problematic, which makes it a great option for just about everyone.”

If you are interested in learning more about how to safely improve your fitness level before or after transplant, please contact the Penn Lung Transplant team at 215-662-6482.

Stay tuned next week to find out what music gets the Penn Lung Transplant Team moving when they are working out!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Discussing the Decision: Is Lung Transplant the Most Beneficial Option for Me?

Please join us for the next meeting of the Penn Lung Transplant Support Group:


Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Location: Penn Tower, 399 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 4th Floor, Gates Conference Room
Topic: Is lung transplant the most beneficial option for me?


After the evaluation for lung transplantation is complete and the team has determined that a lung transplant is an appropriate treatment option, the final decision to be added to the lung transplant waiting list is yours. This is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. One resource to help you make this choice is our clinical team – a  group of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and specialties who are available to answer your questions about the medical risks and benefits.

Another resource is the June Lung Transplant Support group, which will provide an opportunity for patients and their caregivers to discuss the impact of lung transplant on important areas of life.

If you are considering lung transplant at this time, please join us for this session. Patients at all stages of transplant are welcome: those who have received a lung transplant, those who are currently waiting and those who are deciding about lung transplant. We look forward to seeing you next week.

For additional consideration, please contact Christopher C. Erickson, MSW, LCSW, clinical social worker, at Christopher.Erickson@uphs.upenn.edu or 215-662-4575.