Laser-assisted arterial and venous anastomoses are now feasible. A microscope-guided CO2 laser was used to deliver 60 to 100 mW to anastomose end to end 44 rabbit carotid arteries (1.5 to 2.0 mm) and 27 rabbit vena cavae (4 to 6 mm). These were compared with control arteries repaired with interrupted suture technique. Anastomoses were examined from between 24 hours and 19 weeks. Laser carotid anastomoses yielded 93% patency (41 of 44) and 9% aneurysms (4 of 44), whereas hand-sewn carotid anastomoses produced 91% patency (40 of 44) and no aneurysms. In the vena cava, 26 of 27 laser anastomoses were patent (96%) compared with 19 of 20 (95%) sutured controls. Venous aneurysmal dilatation was seen in 2 of 27 laser (7%) and in 3 of 20 (15%) hand-sewn anastomoses. Histologic examination of laser-assisted anastomoses showed local full-thickness thermal injury. Repair was by fibroblast and myofibroblast proliferation, and luminal cell coverage was complete by 14 days in both laser and sutured repairs. Laser arterial and venous anastomoses are attractive because of their simplicity and rapidity of performance. Their patency is comparable to sutured anastomoses, but arterial aneurysms remain a hazard despite use of extremely low laser energy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine