Where Do Transplants and Grafts Come From?

For people with serious injuries and chronic illnesses, grafts and transplants of organs and tissues have great potential for improving the quality of life Chardon OH. The organ or tissue to be grafted or transplanted can come from many different sources.

Allograft

An allograft or allotransplant is an organ or tissue surgically implanted in the body that comes from an outside source, often a human donor. Depending on the type of organ or tissue, the donor may be still alive or may have arranged to have his or her vital organs donated after death. Allografts and allotransplants may also be created artificially from non-organic materials.

Allografts and allotransplants are common, but there are risks involved. The greatest of these is that the immune system of the person receiving the donated organ or tissue will view it as a threat and attack it. Recipients of transplants may have to take medications to suppress the immune system to prevent their bodies from rejecting the donated allograft or allotransplant.

Autograft

An autograft involves tissue taken from the patient’s own body to replace damaged tissue elsewhere in the body. Examples of tissues that can be autografted include bone and bone marrow, blood vessels, or skin. An autograft is taken from a part of the body where the tissue is thick or plentiful. For example, bone graft material is often taken from the patient’s hip bone, while autograft blood vessels used for cardiac bypass surgery are harvested from the patient’s lower leg.

Xenograft

A xenograft or xenotransplant is organic tissue transplanted into a human patient that came from an animal species other than a human. Examples include transplanted heart valves or skin grafts that originally came from pigs or cows.

There is another type of transplant or graft that can only happen under very specific circumstances. It is called an isograft, and it occurs when the donor and the patient are identical twins, meaning that they have the same genetic makeup.