Explanation of Donated Tissues
Heart Valves help repair cardiac defects and are used to replace diseased or deformed valves. Donated valves may be life-saving for these recipients. Most recipients of heart valve transplants are infants and children.
Long Bones of the Leg and the Crest of the Hip become several smaller grafts used for spinal fusions, hip and knee replacement surgeries, repair damaged or diseased bone, and can help prevent amputations. Another common use for bone grafts is for dental surgeries to replace damaged bone around the teeth that can occur from trauma or periodontal disease.
Skin grafts help the accelerated healing of burns and other wounds. It is also used to reduce scar tissue, reduce fluid loss, and promote protection from bacterial infection. Skin grafts recovered to the fascia, called full thickness grafts, are used to treat patients experiencing severe abdominal injuries, complicated hernias, breast reconstruction after mastectomy and other soft tissue defects.
Saphenous Veins can be used in cardiac bypass surgeries and in preventing amputations in individuals with chronic circulation problems by restoring blood flow to a leg.
Tendon and Ligament grafts are transplanted into patients who have sustained injuries that decrease mobility. A patient with a torn ACL would benefit from this type of tissue graft which will increase the stability in the knee. Fascia is the tough membrane that encases muscles. It is used as a tendon to repair injuries to restore mobility. Grafts from donated fascia can also be used as an internal support for organs such as the bladder.
Nerves provide the pathway for both motor and sensory signals between the central nervous system and muscles or organs throughout the body. Nerve injuries may result in loss of motor function, sensory function, or both. Nerve injuries may occur as a result of trauma or acute compression which can result from a herniated disc in the spine and even muscle sprains. Nerve grafts address nerve discontinuities in patients by providing the structure for the body's own regeneration process.