With the right donor tissue, the risk of infection is very low. Your surgeon should be using tissue only from AATB-accredited tissue banks. AATB stands for American Association of Tissue Banks. They have the highest standards for selection, storage, and processing of donor tissue.
One member of the AATB has had no confirmed reports of infection for more than two million units of allograft tissue. This not-for-profit group is the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).
Allograft refers to tissue donated by someone other than the patient. Autograft is tissue taken from some other part of the patient's own body and then used to repair or reconstruct the same patient's damaged tissue.
New and improved testing is also available for infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Instead of looking for antibodies to these viruses, nucleic acid testing can be used to look for the virus directly.
There is also a risk for bacterial infection. One donor can supply tissue for many, many patients. Unless the allograft is properly prepared, they are all at risk for infections.
Tissue that isn't collected or refrigerated soon enough is at risk for bacterial infection. Proper sterilization methods must also be used to avoid various kinds of bacterial growth.