A surgical stapling apparatus having biocompatible surgical fabric releasably attached thereto for application of the fabric and staples to body tisuse is disclosed. The fabric is releasably held to surfaces of the stapling apparatus through pins, clips or similar securing structures. The biocompatible surgical fabric can be either planar or tubular in configuration. Preferably, both the anvil portion and the fastener ejecting portion of the stapler are at least partially covered with the biocompatible surgical fabric. In use, tissue is disposed between the anvil portion and the stapling portion of the instrument and the instrument is fired. The biocompatible surgical fabric is thereby secured to the tissue and releasably detaches from the stapler upon withdrawal of the stapler from the surgical site.