The milliwatt CO2 laser was used to perform end‐to‐end anastomoses in canine jugular veins. There was a high disruption rate (50%) in laser‐welded veins (n = 10). Fibrin glue (n = 17), formed from human fresh‐frozen plasma, enhanced the weld strength decreasing the disruption rate (18%), resulting in an 82% patency which nearly equaled the contralateral sutured vein patency (93%). The bursting strength was improved with fibrin glue. Transmural necrosis was present initially in all groups but extended for a longer distance in the vessel wall in laser‐welded anastomoses. Sutured anastomoses exhibited a greater inflammatory response. In laser‐welded anastomoses endothelial cells were not as confluent as in sutured anastomoses by six weeks. Carbon dioxide laser‐welded end‐to‐end vein anastomoses appear to be impractical because they disrupt too easily. However, the addition of heterologous fibrin glue to the weld results in a reasonably strong anastomosis with histologic properties that may be beneficial in vein bypass grafts.
- bursting strength
- laser‐welded vein anastomosis
- vein patency
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