✓ Carotid body tumors are a rare but potentially difficult surgical entity. Their pathology, physiology, and natural history are reviewed along with surgical results reported in the literature. A surgical approach for removal of these tumors is presented which differs significantly from the recommended techniques in that emphasis is placed on intraoperative monitoring of cerebral blood flow, the selective use of shunts, a tumor-adventitial plane of dissection, preservation of the carotid artery complex, and mobilization of the parotid gland. Thirteen cases using these techniques are reviewed. The mortality rate and the incidence of cerebrovascular sequelae were both 0%. The major morbidity consisted of injury to the lower cranial nerves in five patients (39%) with tumors larger than 5 cm in length.
Fredric B. Meyer, Thoralf M. Sundt Jr. and Bruce W. Pearson
Thoralf M. Sundt Jr., Bruce W. Pearson, David G. Piepgras, O. Wayne Houser and Bahram Mokri
✓ Results, complications, and operative techniques of the surgical management of 20 aneurysms of the distal extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) in 19 patients are reviewed. The proximity of these aneurysms to the styloid process is not considered as a chance occurrence, and the possibility is raised that these lesions are related to trauma from that structure. False aneurysms from spontaneous dissections are believed to occur only in those dissections that begin distally; they are not found in dissections that begin proximally. Treatment was individualized and dependent upon: 1) the size and location of the aneurysm; 2) symptomatology; and 3) hemodynamic considerations based upon intraoperative cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements determined from the clearance of xenon-133 injected into the ipsilateral ICA. Methods of treatment included: resection of the aneurysm with placement of an interposition saphenous vein graft in seven patients; resection of the aneurysm with end-to-end anastomosis of the ICA in five; ICA ligation in three; clipping of the aneurysm in one; and extracranial-to-intracranial bypass in four. One patient sustained a postoperative cerebral ischemic complication from embolization which resulted in a mild permanent impairment in right hand dexterity. There were no other cerebral ischemic complications in the group, largely attributable, it is thought, to the use of intraoperative CBF measurements and continuous electroencephalograms. Four patients had transient dysphagia from traction damage to the pharyngeal and superior laryngeal nerves, and one patient with preoperative difficulty in swallowing required a gastrostomy. Long-term results have been excellent. Use of the operating microscope facilitated the suturing of the distal anastomosis in cases in which the ICA was reconstructed by an interposition vein graft or end-to-end anastomosis.