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July 1988

Patency of the Internal Jugular Vein After Modified Neck Dissection

Author Affiliations

Winston-Salem, NC

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(7):713. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860190017008

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C. B. Fisher, MD, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, at the Southern Triological Society meeting in Birmingham, Ala, described 13 patients who underwent a jugular vein-sparing neck dissection. The patency of the retained jugular vein was assessed by comparing contrast-enhanced preoperative and two- to four-week postoperative computed tomographic scans.

Of the 13 patients, 12 had studies sufficient to make a statement on the patency of the retained jugular vein. Nine jugular veins were patent and unchanged in diameter (75%); one vein was patent but severely narrowed (8%); and two veins were occluded or thrombosed (16%). Techniques to aid in the preservation of patency were discussed. Among them were avoiding direct handling of the vessel wall, avoiding coagulation near the vessel, maintaining the vessel wall in a moist condition during the neck dissection, and carefully ligating branches of the jugular vein to avoid blind pouches in which thrombi might

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