The use of laser energy for recanalizing blood vessels has been investigated by several groups. Various lasers were shown to be capable of vaporizing obstructive tissue under certain conditions. However, vessel perforation and inability to create sufficiently large channels are major technical limitations of laser angioplasty. These limitations appear to be related to the delivery system employed in these studies. An open-end fiber-optic laser delivery system, reportedly utilized by various investigators, has certain design deficiencies that could be responsible for the high incidence of vessel perforation and inability to create a large channel. Understanding of these limitations, and of the thermal nature of laser tissue interaction has motivated the author to develop a fiberoptic laserprobe that overcomes the difficulties imposed by open-end fiberoptic delivery systems. The proposed laserprobe contains emitted laser radiation and distributes thermal energy evenly around probe surface while permitting tactile feedback. This probe was shown to substantially reduce the incidence of vessel perforation and to increase the rate of angiographic success in two animal models and in man.
"A Novel Fiberoptic Laserprobe For Treatment Of Occlusive Vessel Disease", Proc. SPIE 0605, Optical and Laser Technology in Medicine, (5 August 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.956350; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.956350