In the field of vascular surgery homologous tissues like saphenous vein, vena cava, iliac arteries, thoracic aorta and abdominal aorta are preferred to synthetic materials because they are more resistant to infections and less likely to induce thrombosis. Vascular tissues are used to replace artificial vascular prostheses that underwent infections, and to create a vascular access for patients receiving haemodialysis and conduits, or vessels, in limb-saving revascularisation operations.
In the last twenty years revascularisation of lower limbs in patients with severe arteriosclerosis has been an important part of vascular surgery. Broad experience has been built up over the years in the use of bank tissue in cases when venous material from the patient is unavailable. The result is that even seriously compromised limbs, otherwise considered inoperable in patients who have already had many operations, have been saved. The use of cryopreserved vascular tissue - for the most part saphenous vein - has further extended the indications for surgery to many more patients and offers a valid alternative in the event of infected vascular prostheses. The aim is always to try to avoid the trauma of limb amputation, therefore ameliorating the quality of life of patients with arteriopathy.