Background and Objectives: Laser-assisted end to end vascular anastomosis of an elastin heterograft to native artery may prevent problems associated with currently available vascular synthetic grafts and conventional suture anastomosis. Study Design/Materials and Methods: A total of 21 anastomoses in the carotid arteries of 7 domestic swine were performed with an 800 nm laser and an albumin stent plus solder. There were 5 artery to artery and 16 elastin heterograft to native artery anastomoses. Operative parameters, vascular patency, and histology of the anastomoses were evaluated. Results: Out of 21 anastomoses, 16 were patent for 3 hours. One artery to artery anastomosis was thrombosed and four elastin heterograft to artery anastomoses were excluded from the study due to heterograft burst. The average amount of applied energy was 212 J for artery to artery anastomosis and 273 J for elastin heterograft to native artery. Histology shows coagulative necrosis of the adventitia, hypereosinophilic contraction band in the media of native arteries and no changes in elastin heterografts. Conclusions: Laser-assisted vascular anastomosis (LAVA) of elastin heterograft to medium size vessel using an albumin stent is feasible. Chronic studies are warranted to determine long-term patency and histology of the LAVA.
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