Background: Recently, several kinds of lasers have been widely employed in the field of medicine and surgery. However, laser applications are very rare in the field of cardiovascular surgery throughout the world. So, we have experimentally tried to use lasers in the field of cardiovascular surgery. There were three categories: 1) Transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMLR), 2) Laser vascular anastomosis, and 3) Laser angioplasty in the peripheral arterial diseases.
By the way, surgery for ischemic heart disease has been widely performed in Japan. Especially coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for these patients has been done as a popular surgical method. Among these patients there are a few cases for whom CABG and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) could not be carried out, because of diffuse stenosis and small caliber of coronary arteries.
Materials and methods of TMLR: A new method of tranasmyocardial revascularization by CO2 laser (output 100 W, irradiation time 0.2 sec) was experimentally performed to save severely ill patients. In this study, a feasibility of transmyocardial laser revascularization from left ventricular cavity through artificially created channels by laser was precisely evaluated. Results: In trials on dogs laser holes 0.2mm in diameter have been shown microscopically to be patent even 3 years after their creation, thus this procedure could be used as a new method of transmyocardial laser revascularization.
Clinical application of TMLR: Subsequently, transmyocardial laser revascularization was employed in a 55-year-old male patient with severe angina pectoris who had undergone pericardiectomy 7 years before. He was completely recovered from severe chest pain. Conclusions of TMLR: This patient was the first successful case in the world with TMLR alone. This method might be done for the patients who percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass grafting could be carried out.
Laser vascular anastomosis: At present time, in vascular surgery there are some problems to keep long-term patency after anastomosis of the conventional suture method, especially for small-caliber vessels.
Materials and methods of Laser vascular anastomosis: From these standpoints, a low energy CO2 laser was employed experimentally in vascular anastomosis for small-caliber vessels.
Resullts of Laser vascular anastomosis: From preliminary experiments it could be concluded that the optimal laser output was 20–40 mW and irradiation time was 6–12 sec/mm for vascular anastomosis of small-caliber vessels in the extremities. And then, histologic findings and intensity of the laser anastomotic sites were investigated thereafter. Subseqently, good enough intensity and good healing of laser anastomotic sites as well as the conventional suture method could be observed. There were no statistic differences between laser and suture methods. A feasibility of laser anastomosis could be considered and clinical application could be recognized.
Clinical applications of Laser vascular anastomosis: On February 21, 1985, arterio-venous laser anastomosis for the patient with renal failure was smoothly done and she could accept hemodialysis.
Conclusions of Laser vascular anastomosis: This patient was the first clinical successful case in the world. Thereafter, Laser vascular anastomosis were in 111 patients with intermittent claudication, refractory crural ulcer, and coronary disorders. Thereafter, they are going well. Laser angioplasty: Laser angioplasty for peripheral arterial diseases. There are many methods to treat peripheral arterial diseases such as balloon method, atherectomy, laser technique and stenting graft in the field of endovascular treatment. Recent years, minimal invasive treatment should be employed even in the surgical treatment. However, there are different images between these methods.
Materials and methods of Laser angioplasty: We have chosen to use laser for endovascular treatment for peripheral arterial diseases. We have tried to check between laser energy and vessel wall.
Results of Laser angioplasty: Subsequently, it could be concluded that optimal conditions for laser angioplasty were 6 W in output and irradiation time was 5 sec. And with another method of feedback control system, temperature of metal tip probe was 200°C and irradiation time was 5 sec for each shot. And histological study and feasibility of angioscopic guidance could be done and clinical application was started. Until now, 115 patients were successfully treated with their life longevity.
Conclusions of Laser angioplasty: Thus, laser applications were useful methods to treat a lot of patients with some ischemic problems.