Niki Lauda making good progress after lung transplant surgery

Charles Bradley
Lauda making progress after lung transplant

One of the doctors who operated on three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda says he is making good progress in a Vienna hospital after his lung transplant on Thursday.

Lauda underwent surgery in Austria after falling ill while on holiday in Ibiza. He was flown by private jet to the AKH Vienna hospital, where he remains in intensive care while he recovers from the surgery.

Dr Walter Klepetko, who is the hospital's head of thoracic surgery, told Austrian broadcaster ORF that "everything is currently going very well and we are very satisfied".

Klepetko said the usual recovery period for such a procedure is two to three weeks, but explained that 69-year-old Lauda's recovery period will be "a longer time" due to his age.

The hospital performs 120 lung transplants a year.

One aspect of Lauda's situation that Klepetko did clarify was that his fiery accident at the Nurburgring in 1976 had had no bearing on the decision to replace his lungs.

"One can absolutely assume that lung transplantation is not a late consequence of the fire accident," he said.