Scientists began experimenting with organ transplants in the 18th century. There were many failures over the years. By the 1900s, scientists began to see success.
Today, transplants are routine medical treatments. We are able to transplant many organs, including:
- Arms, faces and reproductive organs
Medical breakthroughs such as tissue typing and drugs to combat organ rejection allow for more organ transplants and a longer survival rate for recipients. The most notable breakthrough in this area was Jean Borel's discovery of Cyclosporine in the mid-1970s. The FDA approved Cyclosporine for commercial use in November 1983.
The need for organ transplants continues to exceed the supply of organs. But as medical technology improves and more donors become available, the number of people who live longer and healthier lives continues to increase each year.
First successful kidney transplant*
Dr. Joseph E. Murray, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA1954
First successful kidney-pancreas transplant
Drs. Richard Lillehei, William Kelly, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN1966
First successful liver transplant*
Dr. Thomas Starzl, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO1967
First isolated pancreas transplant
Dr. Richard Lillehei, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN1968
First successful heart transplant
Dr. Norman Shumway, Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, CA1968
First successful heart-lung transplant
Dr. Bruce Reitz, Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, CA1981
First successful single lung transplant*
Dr. Joel Cooper, Toronto Lung Transplant Group, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Canada1983
First successful double lung transplant*
Dr. Joel Cooper, Toronto Lung Transplant Group, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Canada1986
First successful living donor liver transplant
Dr. Christoph Broelsch, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL1989
First successful living donor lung transplant
Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA1990
* Transplant was the first of its kind in the world.