A $65 million surgical suite expansion and modernization project is underway at Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato.

On Wednesday, MCHS officials unveiled project renderings that are part of its renovation.

"This project will enhance our patients experience and will allow them to experience a broader array of surgical procedures right here locally at our Mankato campus," Dr. James Hebl, Mayo Clinic Health System regional vice president says.

The expansion will include 14 operating rooms, a sterile processing department, an interventional pain medicine procedural room, a new gastrointestinal endoscopy center and 43 private pre and postoperative patient rooms that Dr. Mike Kendrick, MCHS Chair of Surgical Facilities, says is a crucial factor when it comes to patient care.

"Patients are coming and they're going to go under antiesthetic and they're going to have a procedure. So, to make this a comfortable experience for them is just as important as the operating room is," Kendrick says.

Parts of the facility, including the operating rooms, date back to the 1976 facility. Kendrick says modernizing these spaces will greatly enhance patient care.

"The ability to put newer lights and equipment and all of the progressive optical equipment that we use in procedures will be able to go into these rooms," he says.

The expansion was announced last February as part of an all–inclusive plan to fully integrate the Mankato campus with Mayo's headquarters in Rochester.

"It's one of many initiatives that we're going to be launching over the next several months and years that will help us truly transform the Mankato campus into a premier Mayo Clinic regional medical center that is recognized from across the upper Midwest," Hebl says. 

The renovation will be completed in six phases and isn't expected to be complete until the end of 2018.