Advanced Lung Disease Program

In the Advanced Lung Disease Program at UW Health, our expert surgeons and physicians provide comprehensive care for a wide variety of advanced lung diseases, including:

About the Advanced Lung Disease Program


According to the American Lung Association, lung disease is responsible for one in seven deaths in the United States. Almost 342,000 Americans die of lung disease each year.

Progressive, irreversible lung disease - whether from emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, or cystic fibrosis - can be devastating for patients and their families. For these patients, the University of Wisconsin has established the Advanced Lung Disease program.

This comprehensive, multidisciplinary program combines the expertise of pulmonary physicians and thoracic surgeons all in one location. UW has long been a national leader in lung transplantation and in the treatment of asthma, obstructive lung disease, and cystic fibrosis. Our Advanced Lung Disease provides patients throughout the region with the full spectrum of care for advanced lung disease. This includes:

  • Second opinions
  • Evaluation and diagnosis of a wide variety of advanced lung diseases
  • State-of-the-art medical and surgical treatment
  • Close follow-up care in collaboration with primary care physicians
  • A well-established research enterprise focused on translating new scientific discoveries directly into patient care.

We are committed to offering patients with debilitating lung disease the best possible care and an improved quality of life.

About Lung Disease


The lungs are the two breathing organs in the chest. The left lung has two sections, or lobes; the right lung has three lobes.


When you breathe in (inhale), fresh air goes down your windpipe, and through tubes called bronchi into the right and left lungs. The air then travels through smaller tubes, called bronchioles, into air sacs, called alveoli.

Inside the alveoli, oxygen is extracted from the air you breathe, and circulated by the heart through the bloodstream. At the same time, carbon dioxide is transferred from the bloodstream to the alveoli, so that when you breathe out (exhale), carbon dioxide is expelled.
Lung disease can be caused by:
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation or obstructions to the airways
  • Blood clots
  • Or genetic disorders

All lung diseases affect how well our body gets the oxygen it needs to survive. Many lung diseases can be treated with medication or surgery, but as these diseases progress, treatment becomes more complex. If lung disease progresses to an irreversible state, you may require a lung transplant.