Simplifying Arterial Coupling in Microsurgery—A Preclinical Assessment of an Everter Device to Aid with Arterial Anastomosis

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Abstract

Background

A novel arterial everter device was engineered to simplify microvascular coupling of arteries by reliably securing the stiff, muscular wall of arteries over coupler pins. We compare microvascular coupling with the everter device to manual suturing for arterial anastomoses in a live large animal model.

Materials and Methods

In this preliminary study, bilateral external femoral arteries of five male swine were exposed and sharply divided. Arteries were anastomosed using either interrupted sutures (n = 5) or the everter device and Synovis Coupler (n = 5). The efficiency in engaging coupler pins, the time taken to perform the anastomosis, and vessel patency immediately post-op and at 1-week postanastomosis were evaluated. Vessel wall injury and luminal stenosis were compared between groups using histomorphometric analyses.

Results

On an average, 80% of coupler pins engaged the vessel walls after a single pass of the everter. The average time to perform the anastomosis was significantly less when using the everter/coupler compared with manual suturing (6:35 minutes versus 25:09 minutes, p < 0.001). Immediately post-op, 100% patency was observed in both groups. At 1 week post-op, four of five (80%) of coupled arteries and all five (100%) of hand-sewn arteries were patent. The degree of arterial wall injury, neointimal formation, and luminal stenosis for patent arteries were similar between groups.

Conclusions

Successful arterial anastomoses using the everter device with the Synovis Coupler was easier and significantly more efficient when compared with a standard hand-sewn technique. Both techniques had acceptable patency rates and similar effects on the vessel wall and intima.

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