Laser-fused biologic vascular graft anastomoses

Marwan Tabbara, Rodney A. White, George Kopchok, William Mirsch, Francois Cormier, Douglas Cavaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tissue fusion using laser energy is a promising new technology that may improve the healing of anastomoses. This study evaluated the feasibility of using argon laser energy to fuse vascular tissue and biologic vascular prostheses (St. Jude Medical, Inc.) in a canine arteriovenous (A-V) fistula model. Five animals had 4-cm length, 3-mm internal diameter grafts (n;eq 10) placed bilaterally as side-to-side A-V interpositions from the femoral artery to femoral vein. One A-V graft was placed using argon laser energy with the vessel edges aligned by 6-0 polypropylene traction sutures at 3 to 4 mm intervals. The contralateral graft was sutured using running 6-0 polypropylene suture. Anastomoses were successfully fashioned in all animals except for episodes of delayed bleeding at two laser-fused segments (15 min and 2 hrs) and one segment in a suture control (6 days). The implants were removed to evaluate the integrity and healing of the anastomoses at 2 hrs, 8 days, and at 7, 9, and 11 weeks. In all instances, there was no evidence of anastomotic dehissance or enlargement. Histologic examination of the anastomoses revealed coapted vessel and prosthetic edges in laser-fused specimens and a limited foreign-body response to the permanent sutures in the suture controls. In the longer term specimens there was marked intimal proliferation at the venous anastomosis in all implants, with recent bilateral occlusions of the 7 and 11 week implants at the venous connection. We conclude that laser fusion of biologic vascular prostheses to autogenous vessel is possible with healing and no evidence of anastomotic dehissance. The technique may provide a method to limit development of anastomotic stenosis by eliminating the foreign body reaction. In addition, the canine arteriovenous model used in these experiments develops aggressive intimal lesions at the venous anastomosis within weeks and may be used to evaluate the effect of anastomotic technique on the development of this lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Keywords Biologic grafts
  • Laser anastomoses
  • Laser tissue fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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