Energy-based, radiofrequency and ultrasonic devices provide rapid sealing of blood vessels during laparoscopic
procedures. We are exploring infrared lasers as an alternative for vessel sealing with less collateral thermal damage.
Previous studies demonstrated vessel sealing in an in vivo porcine model using a 1470-nm laser. However, the
initial prototype was designed for open surgery and featured tissue clasping and light delivery mechanisms
incompatible with laparoscopic surgery. In this study, a laparoscopic prototype similar to devices in surgical use
was developed, and tests were conducted on porcine renal blood vessels. The 5-mm-OD prototype featured a
traditional Maryland jaw configuration. Laser energy was delivered through a 550-μm-core fiber and side-delivery
from the lower jaw, with beam dimensions of 18-mm-length x 1.2-mm-width. The 1470-nm diode laser delivered
68 W with 3 s activation time. A total of 69 porcine renal vessels with mean diameter of 3.3 ± 1.7 mm were tested,
ex vivo. Vessels smaller than 5 mm were consistently sealed (48/51) with burst pressures greater than malignant
hypertension blood pressure (180 mmHg), averaging 1038 ± 474 mmHg. Vessels larger than 5 mm were not
consistently sealed (6/18), yielding burst pressures of only 174 ± 221 mmHg. Seal width, thermal damage zone, and
thermal spread averaged 1.7 ± 0.8, 3.4 ± 0.7, and 1.0 ± 0.4 mm. A novel optical laparoscopic prototype with 5-mm-
OD shaft integrated within a standard Maryland jaw design consistently sealed vessels less than 5 mm with minimal
thermal spread. Further in vivo studies are planned to test performance across a variety of vessels and tissues.