Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic is celebrating a significant milestone.

A news release says a Mayo Clinic transplant team recently performed the 20,000th transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mayo's transplant program began in 1963 when a team of surgeons performed a living donor kidney transplant.

The program has greatly expanded over the past 57 years to include bone marrow, heart, pancreas, liver, hand and even face transplants.

"Mayo Clinic would never have been able to achieve this incredible milestone had it not been for the heroic decisions of donors and their families to give these lifesaving gifts," says J.P. Scott, M.D., the transplant center's interim director. "We are grateful for the trust that transplant recipients and donors have placed in us, and proud of our caring transplant center staff who always put the needs of our patients first."

The news release indicates the Mayo Clinic in Rochester has performed over 8,800 bone marrow transplants, almost 6,300 kidney transplants, about 3,200 liver transplants, over 700 heart transplants, close to 540 pancreas transplants, 441 lung transplants, three islet cell transplants, and one face transplant.

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