• Carotid Body Tumors

    Carotid body tumors are very rare and occur between the internal and external carotid arteries. These tumors usually present as asymptomatic neck masses, and only about 5 percent of them are cancerous. Carotid body tumors grow slowly, but can cause dysfunction of the cranial nerves responsible for swallowing, tongue function, vocal cord function and shoulder movement.

    In “reasonable risk” patients, carotid body tumors should be removed. It is clearly better to remove tumors when they are small, as the risk of cranial nerve injury during the surgery increases with the size of the tumor. Due to the importance of preserving the structure and function of the cranial nerves, meticulous surgical skill is required during the removal of carotid body tumors. The Vascular Surgery Department at Lahey Clinic has experience and an excellent track record with regard to carotid body tumor removal.

    For further information, please contact the Department of Vascular Surgery at 781-744-8577.
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