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A simple technique to achieve bloodless excision of carotid body tumors

Francesco Spinelli, Mafalda Massara, Michele La Spada, Francesco Stilo, David Barillà, Giovanni De Caridi
Journal of Vascular Surgery 2014, 59 (5): 1462-4
We describe a technique for Shamblin II-III carotid body tumor (CBT) resection to reduce bleeding and neurologic complications during surgery. The technique was based on the fact that CBTs are supplied almost exclusively from the external carotid artery. Therefore, we carefully isolated the origin of the external carotid artery and its distal branches outside the tumor and temporarily clamped all of these vessels after heparin administration. This allowed a safe and bloodless resection as the tumor was dissected from the internal carotid artery in the usual subadventitial plane. The internal carotid artery was never clamped, and respect of peripheral nerves was warranted in the clean and bloodless field. From 2007 to 2010, we treated 11 patients with a CBT: six had a Shamblin II and five had a Shamblin III lesion. Neither perioperative neurologic events nor recurrences occurred after a mean follow-up of 42 months.

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