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Local Fargo Doctor Performs 400th Transplant

(Fargo, ND) – On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, Dr. Bhargav Mistry performed his 400th transplant surgery in Fargo. The recipient received a kidney from her daughter and both have agreed to be interviewed along with Dr. Mistry.

Dr. Mistry has been with MeritCare since 2000 and has been the driving force in leading MeritCare’s Transplant Services. For patients of this region, having this service available means life-altering and life-saving treatment is available close to home.

“Dr. Mistry’s commitment to the excellence and genuine care for his patients has built this program into what it is today – a nationally recognized transplant program with the latest in surgery and technology,” said Dennis Millirons, president, MeritCare Medical Center.

While this 400th transplant is a worthy reason to celebrate, it’s also important to note that nationally, there are close to 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, including more than 2,600 in the Upper Midwest. According to LifeSource (the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest), each day, 18 people die while waiting for a transplant simply because there are not enough organs available. Each day 100 names are added to the national transplant waiting list.

1989 Transplantation Services of Fargo was formed as a joint kidney transplant program of: • Fargo Clinic and St. Luke’s Hospital (now MeritCare) • Dakota Clinic Ltd. (now Innovis Health) • Dakota Hospital (Dakota later partnered with Heartland Medical Center – formerly St. John’s and St. St. Ansgar hospitals – to become Dakota Heartland Health System and then was later acquired by MeritCare)

2000 MeritCare launched MeritCare Transplant Services as a solo venture; transplant surgeon Dr. Bhargav Mistry joins staff.

2001 MeritCare becomes the first hospital in North Dakota to perform a pancreas transplant.


  • The first simultaneous double transplant (kidney and pancreas) is performed at MeritCare.
  • Surgeon Dr. Tim Monson joins the team and achieves a first by using a new minimally invasive surgical approach to remove a donor’s kidney (laparoscopic donor nephrectomy) versus the traditional surgical approach.


  • The first Good Samaritan kidney transplant is performed at MeritCare. The program allows “non-directed” kidney donations, where a Good Samaritan can donate a kidney to someone in need. Today, MeritCare is one of the leaders in these donations – only a few out of the 258 transplant centers in the nation perform Good Samaritan transplants.
  • The first international transplant occurs at MeritCare when a woman from Welland, Ont., donates a kidney to a man from Walhalla, N.D. that she had met over the Internet.
  • Dr. Mistry performs a minimally invasive kidney removal live, over a surgical webcast. The webcast gave people anywhere in the world the opportunity to view transplant surgery in action.

2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 MeritCare receives the Health and Human Services (HHS) Medal of Honor Award. This prestigious award is presented to hospitals and organ procurement organizations that achieve life-saving organ donation rates of 75 percent or more for a sustained 12-month period.


  • The first double-kidney transplant for one recipient at MeritCare. (When a single organ doesn’t meet specific donation criteria, two organs are placed in one recipient to avoid wasting valuable organs.)
  • MeritCare celebrates its 500th transplant surgery (452 were kidney transplants and 48 were pancreas transplants).

2009 Meritcare Transplant Program patients are enrolled in the regional and national kidney exchange program for those living donor pairs who are incompatible. The exchange program allows them to match with other incompatible pairs around the nation.

2010 Dr. Mistry performs his 400th transplant surgery, which includes kidney and pancreas transplants.

Additional Information
MeritCare’s transplant program continues to meet the standards of care as required by monitoring agencies. The outcome of transplants performed at MeritCare is comparable to other transplant programs around the country.