An allograft is a tissue graft from a donor of the same species as the recipient, but genetically unrelated to the recipient. The transplanted bone or soft tissue allografts are used in surgical reconstruction procedures. Over 1,000,000 allografts are transplanted each year.
Because of inadequate amounts of autografts (a person’s own bone or tissue) and the limited size and shape of a person’s own bone, allografts are commonly used. Using an allograft is advantageous because there is no need for a second operative site to recover an autograft which will eliminate donor-site morbidity (complications which may occur at the second operative site, such as: infection, pain, and loss of function), minimize surgical time, reduce postoperative discomfort, and promote faster healing.
Each person has a choice as to whether or not to donate their organs and/or tissues. These donors are otherwise healthy individuals who experienced a sudden illness or accident which ultimately led to death.
Preparing tissue for transplant begins with the removal of debris and organic matter. The tissue is then exposed to a validated process to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Processing and packaging are performed using aseptic technique in environmentally monitored clean rooms to maintain biological integrity. Low-dose gamma radiation is used to terminally sterilize the tissues. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have regulated this field very closely since 1993 to ensure allograft safety. Over 1,000,000 allografts are implanted each year with a remarkable record of safety.