A surgical stapling apparatus having tissue bolstering material releasably attached thereto for application of the material and staples to body tissue is disclosed. The tissue bolstering material is preferably releasably held to surfaces of the stapling apparatus through pins, clips or similar securing structures. The tissue bolstering material 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 tissue bolstering material. In use, tissue is disposed between the anvil portion and the stapling portion of the instrument and the instrument is fired. The tissue bolstering material is thereby secured to the tissue and releasably detaches from the stapler upon withdrawal of the stapler from the surgical site.