Retropharyngeal carotid artery

The retropharyngeal internal carotid artery (ICA) is a relatively common finding in the ENT office. It is an anatomical variation which implies specific risks and challenges in some surgical situations. In fact, it was defined as a contraindication for TORS by Greg Weinstein in his original publications. Damaging the ICA might be fatal for the patient. When exposed during a transoral surgical resection (usually in oncological surgery) the ICA should be always covered by some reconstructive maneuver. Another of the myriad of details to be considered in mininally-invasive surgical approaches through the mouth.

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