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January 1971

Postoperative Carotid-Artery Rupture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (Dr. Nichols) and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor (Drs. Olson and Shilling). Dr. Shilling is now with the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1971;93(1):90-94. doi:10.1001/archotol.1971.00770060122019

We report a case of postoperative carotid-artery rupture resulting from injury to the vessel by a partially resected thyroid ala and review some aspects of nine additional cases. The site of perforation was often the common carotid below the bulb. Two patients died before treatment. Of eight patients who were treated with carotid ligation, seven survived. Two had neurological sequelae. The incidence of this complication can be reduced by control of factors which impede wound healing, thoughtful skin incisions, and carotid protection with autogenous materials. Treatment is carotid ligation. Other treatment methods are uncertain and subject the patient to the risk of subsequent fatal hemorrhage.

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