HANOI, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) — Lung transplants will become a common practice in Vietnam, starting from 2017, according to Vietnam's top organ transplant surgeons on Monday.

Ta Ba Thang, deputy head of the Tuberculosis and Pulmonology Department under Vietnam's Military Hospital 103, has voiced his forecast on the outlook of lung transplants in Vietnam in the near future.

According to Thang, the first regular lung transplant will be performed next year on those patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis and early stage lung cancer.

Those receiving lung transplants had demonstrated improved quality of life and higher longevity, Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA quoted Thang as saying.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Tien Quyet, former director of the Hanoi-based Vietnam-Germany Hospital, who is also a local leading expert on organ transplant, said by the end of 2015, Vietnamese doctors had performed 1,500 kidney transplants, 50 liver transplants, 13 heart transplants and one lung transplant.

Lung transplants will open up new opportunities for treating patients at early stage of lung cancer or with COPD, an increasingly common condition in Vietnam, due to heavy smoking or environmental pollution, Quyet said.