• We compared the histologic features, tensile strength, and collagen synthesis of laser-welded and sutured arteriotomies. Four bilateral canine femoral or carotid arteries, 2 cm long, were studied at one through four weeks postoperatively, with one vessel (control) closed with interrupted 6-0 polypropylene sutures and the contralateral vessel (experimental) welded with an argon laser (0.5 W [1417 J/cm2], four-minute exposure per 1-cm length of incision). Histologic examination revealed that laser-welded arteriotomies had less inflammatory reaction, more normal collagen and elastin reorientation, and similar endothelial continuity when compared with the control, sutured wounds. The tensile strength of the one- and two-week laser-welded specimens was less than that of sutured wounds and became approximately equal to sutured repairs at three and four weeks. There were no significant differences in the rate of collagen synthesis. There was no evidence of abnormal healing in the laser-welded specimens, suggesting that argon laser welding may be an alternative to suture repair of arteriotomies.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1133-1135)