A method and device are provided for performing intraluminal tissue welding for anastomosis of a hollow organ. A retractable catheter assembly is delivered through the hollow organ and consists of a catheter connected to an optical fiber, an inflatable balloon, and a biocompatible patch mounted on the balloon. The disconnected ends of the hollow organ are brought together on the catheter assembly, and upon inflation of the balloon, the free ends are held together on the balloon to form a continuous channel while the patch is deployed against the inner wall of the hollow organ. The ends are joined or "welded" using laser radiation transmitted through the optical fiber to the patch. A thin layer of a light-absorbing dye on the patch can provide a target for welding. The patch may also contain a bonding agent to strengthen the bond. The laser radiation delivered has a pulse profile to minimize tissue damage.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.