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Management of vascular complications of head and neck cancer

  • J Rimmer (a1), C E B Giddings (a2), F Vaz (a1), J Brooks (a3) and C Hopper (a1)...



Major vascular complications in patients with head and neck cancer have previously been thought of as terminal events. However, it is now possible to intervene in many situations, with benefits for quality of life as well as survival. Endovascular techniques have reduced morbidity and mortality in many situations, both emergency and elective.


We describe the techniques that can be employed in such situations, and present illustrative case reports. Life-threatening haemorrhage, carotid compression and radiation-induced carotid stenosis are all discussed.


It is possible to predict where complications may arise, and to take prophylactic steps to allow treatment to continue. Early intervention can reduce both morbidity and mortality in this high-risk patient group.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Miss Joanne Rimmer, 39 Handforth Road, London SW9 0LL, UK Fax: +44 (0)20 78339480 E-mail:


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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