Tissue Bank

The Hartford Hospital Tissue Bank, established in 1986, is one of the largest inventories of donated human tissues in New England.

Some hospitals occasionally cancel surgeries because transplantable tissues are in short supply nationally. This rarely happens at Hartford Hospital.

Tissue grafts – called “allograft tissue” when they come from anyone other than the patient who gets them – are used in orthopedic, spinal, neurological, gynecological and cardiovascular procedures. Such tissues are used most commonly in total hip revisions, tumor replacements, biopsies, non-unions, cervical and lumbar fusions, sport injury repair, craniotomy procedures, and for bladder suspensions.

Cardiovascular surgeons use human tissues for heart valve replacements and transplant surgeons use femoral and saphenous veins for access surgery. Cornea transplants are done by ophthalmologists at the hospital’s Eye Institute.

The Hartford Hospital Tissue Bank was established because orthopedic surgeons at Hartford Hospital were in need of bone. Initially, most of the bone was used for total hip revisions. Over time, the demand for bone expanded; it was needed for other orthopedic and spinal procedures.

Currently, in addition to bone, many other types of human tissues are being used for surgeries including skin, corneas, tendons, fascia, pericardium, cartilage, veins, and heart valves. In 2003, over 1,000 donated human tissues were used at Hartford Hospital.

Human tissue grafts enhance the lives of hundreds of patients each year at Hartford Hospital. Human tissues are gifts and are treated with care and respect.

Tissue Bank