The Tissue Transplantation

Tissue transplants are part of the standard of medical care in Germany. In the past ten years, doctors in Germany have transplanted around 60,000 corneas, hundreds of cardiovascular tissues and hundreds of thousands of bone preparations. Due to its wound healing promoting properties, the amniotic membrane can be used in many different areas of medicine: whether in ophthalmology, burn medicine, in the care of chronic wounds such as the diabetic foot, in oral and maxillofacial surgery or gynaecological surgery. The DGFG offers the following transplants to transplanting institutions throughout Germany.

Cornea

Corneal transplantation is the last remaining treatment option to save the sight of patients with a diseased or injured cornea. The success rate is very high and many patients get their vision back completely. In keratoplasty, the entire cornea is replaced by a donor cornea.

Heart valves & blood vessels

Cardiovascular grafts are often used to replace infected artificial prostheses. In many cases, transplantation is an emergency operation that saves lives. In addition, heart valves are often used to treat childhood heart valve defects.

Musculoskeletal tissues

Serious bone defects caused by illness or accident can only be cured in orthopaedics and trauma surgery by the precise use of bone grafts.

40.731

Tissue transplants were allocated nationwide by the DGFG in the period 2007-2018.

Tissue transplant safety

In Germany, tissue preparations are subject to the Medicinal Products Act, where extensive approval and safety regulations apply. The EU Directive 2004/23/EC defines uniform quality and safety standards for tissue preparations throughout the European Union. The German Society for Tissue Transplantation (DGFG) is approved for tissue preparation and transplantation in accordance with § 20 b and § 20 c of the German Medicinal Products Act. In addition, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the responsible federal authority, has given its approval to distribute the prepared transplants. Each tissue donation is fully documented and traceable from consent to processing and transplantation.

Learn more about tissue transplantation

There are not always enough human tissue transplants available. Especially heart valves and blood vessels are missing in tissue medicine and still patients have to endure their situation unnecessarily long. There is no central allocation office for tissue transplants in Germany, nor is there a nationwide waiting list – as for organ donation. They were not desired by the authorities.

The German Society for Tissue Transplantation (DGFG) takes up the idea of central allocation. Every year, we provide thousands of patients with safe and high-quality tissue transplants through our nationwide network. Our special concern is a fair distribution of the existing corneas, heart valves and blood vessels. Our well-developed nationwide network ensures that corneas and heart valves are transferred from the tissue banks to the transplant centres without any loss of time. Using a supra-regional database, the employees of the allocation office have a permanent overview of all tissue transplants available in the network. The allocation office can also react quickly to emergency enquiries and typified transplants. Networking increases the chance that patients will quickly receive a suitable transplant.

Our future goal is to be able to supply every patient within four weeks. Therefore we are continuously expanding our donation programs.

Please help us by supporting the tissue donation in your hospital. Only if enough people donate tissue can you optimally provide your patients with tissue transplants.

Order a transplant

Register your patients for a corneal transplant, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal or amniotic tissue.

Report donors

Report donors from within Germany to 0800 – 511 5000 (free of charge). 24 hours reachable!

Become a network partner

Whether as a donor hospital, tissue bank or transplant centre – all participants benefit from the cooperation in the network. Including patients.

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