Resection of carotid body tumors (neck paragangliomas) carries inherent risks of injury to the cranial nerves and other structures as well excessive blood loss. Preoperative embolization has been used to lessen the morbidity in tumors that are larger than 2 cm in diameter. Two female patients presented for treatment with large asymptomatic carotid body tumors - one 4 cm and one 5 cm in diameter. Both patients had preoperative angiography the day before surgery that revealed the feeding arterial vessels so that successful embolization could be accomplished with gel. Success was judged by diminution of the angiographic blush. Both patients had an uneventful surgical excision the following day with the carotid body tumors being able to be resected periadventitially without damage to either the external or internal carotid artery. The cranial nerves were preserved in both patients and blood loss was only 200 cc in both cases. We conclude that preoperative embolization is an important adjunct in treating patients with large carotid body tumors. The surgical exploration proceeds much smoother, the blood loss is minimal, and patients have minimal morbidity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine