Sutureless procedure can rejoin blood vessels

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A team of researchers has developed a new sutureless procedure to rejoin blood vessels.

In animal studies, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine used a polaxamer gel and surgical glue rather than a needle and thread to rejoin blood vessels. Results of the research appeared online Aug. 28 in the journal Nature Medicine.

The gel in the sutureless procedure is solid and elastic above body temperature but dissolves harmlessly into the bloodstream below body temperature. Researchers heated both ends of a severed blood vessel with a lamp and injected the gel to distend the openings. They then used Dermabond to rejoin the two ends of the blood vessel.

The team found that the technique was five times as fast as the traditional method and could work on extremely narrow blood vessels.

The study authors wrote that other sutureless methods that use microclips, staples, or magnets are traumatic to blood vessels—leading to failure rates similar to those seen with suturing.

anastomosis figure
(Courtesy of Michael Galvez/Stanford University School of Medicine)