Iliac artery end-to-end anastomoses were performed in 42 Sprague-Dawley rats, divided into seven groups, to determine the welding effects of CO2 laser radiation in microvascular anastomoses. Conventional suture techniques were performed on right iliac arteries, and left iliac arteries were anastomosed with a laser-assisted technique. Bursting strength and diameters of the anastomotic sites were measured at different intervals (from one day to five weeks) post surgery. The anastomotic patency rate was 100 percent in both groups, and the aneurysm rate was only 2 percent in the laser group. Bursting strength was low at one and three days post surgery in both groups; then, it increased gradually until both groups could withstand higher than physiologic pressures. Results of high patency rates, low aneurysm formation, and the ability to withstand pressures higher than physiologic, suggest that the laser-assisted anastomotic technique can play an important role in microvascular surgery.
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