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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2008 February;49(1):73-8

language: English

Saccular aneurysms of the extracranial internal carotid artery. Experience and review of the literature

Blanco E., Serrano F. J., Reina R., Martín A., Moñux G., Ponce A., Morata C.

Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery San Carlos Hospital, Madrid, Spain


The aim of this study was to describe the surgical technique employed and our results in the treatment of saccular aneurysms of the internal carotid artery at the extracranial level. We describe 3 cases of patients with saccular aneurysms of the extracranial internal carotid who underwent surgery at our unit within the last 3 years. We report on indications for treatment, surgical technique and results in terms of morbidity-mortality and also review the pertinent literature. Surgical treatment was indicated on the grounds of the patients being symptomatic: 2 had a history of cerebral ischemia, and 1 showed local compression symptoms. The surgical approach was presternocleidomastoid cervicotomy extended distally, and in 2 patients was accompanied by nasotracheal intubation to achieve adequate exposure. In 2 cases, we performed an aneurysmectomy with end-to-end anastomosis. In the third patient, the aneurysm neck was ligated from within the sac followed by aneurysmectomy. There was no mortality or neurological morbidity (local or general). The patients remain free from neurological symptoms with a patent carotid axis. Our clinical experience suggests that, despite the anatomically unfavorable location of this type of aneurysm and the greater complexity of the surgical technique, this patient group can be effectively treated. The frequent presence of an elongated carotid axis and an aneurysmal neck means the surgeon can easily restore arterial continuity by direct procedures.

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