Lung transplantation has come to be viewed as the best treatment option for various end-stage lung diseases. The low number of viable donors continues to be a major obstacle to increasing the number of lung transplants, resulting in high mortality among patients on the waiting list. Unlike transplantation of other solid organs, lung transplantation is primarily limited not by the absolute number of donors but by the viability of the donor lungs, which can be damaged by brain death and by treatments given in the ICU. There are various proposals of ways to increase the number of lung donors: intensification of donation campaigns, use of non-heart-beating donors, living lobar lung transplantation, and adoption of more flexible criteria for donors. However, the proposal that has attracted the most attention from lung transplant groups is ex vivo lung perfusion, especially due to the prospect of reconditioning previously discarded lungs. This system consists of perfusion and ventilation of the isolated heart-lung block using a modified cardiopulmonary bypass circuit. Various authors have been studying this technique due to the satisfactory results obtained and the prospect of an increase in the number of organs suitable for transplantation. Researchers in Sweden, Canada, Austria, England, Spain, and Brazil have extensive experience with the method and have introduced modifications to it. The objective of this article was to review the development of, state of the art in, and future prospects for the ex vivo model of lung perfusion and reconditioning.