Journal «Angiology and Vascular Surgery» • 

2005 • VOLUME 11 • №2

RISK FACTORS AND PREVENTION OF INJURIES TO THE CRANIAL NERVES IN RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY OF THE CAROTID ARTERIES

Yu.E. Voskanyan, S.N. Kolomeitsev, R.V. Shnyukov
Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery and High Surgical Technologies,
Stavropol State Medical Academy,
Stavropol Regional Clinical Hospital,
Stavropol, Russia

Reconstructive operations on aortic arch branches is the most effective approach to prevention of acute and chronic disorders of cerebral circulation. Iatrogenic injuries to the cranial nerves worsen the early end, particularly, the late postoperative period, decrease the quality of life and the social status of patients who had undergone carotid reconstructions. The aim of the study was to improve the short- and long-term results of reconstructive operations on the carotid arteries by means of minimizing the incidence and severity of iatrogenic injuries to the cranial nerves. The study accrued 149 patients undergoing operations on the carotid arteries for atherosclerosis or pathologic tortuosity. Of these 82 patients forming the control group were examined for the incidence and character of injuries to the cranial nerves. Neuropathy of the cranial nerves (CN) was identified in 16 (19.5%) patients (7 patients had injuries to the hypoglossal nerve, 3 to the facial nerve, 5 to the vagus; one patient presented with coexistent injury to the glossopharyngeal and pharyngeal branches of the vagus). The clinically and statistically significant risk factors of injuries were: minor surgical experience, the high loop of the internal carotid artery (ICA), lengthy atherosclerotic stenosis greater than 2 cm, diabetes mellitus, intraoperative trauma of the area of the cranial nerves, high mobilization of the ICA, the lack of visualization of pairs X and XII of the CN, intraoperative bleeding, intersection of the superior radix of the deep cervical loop, edema and hematoma of the neck in the postoperative period, and early unscheduled reoperations. One month later the cumulative stability of cranial disfunction accounted for 62.5%, after 3 months it accounted for 43.8%, after 6 months for 31.2, after 9 months for 18.8% and after 12 months for 6,2%. In patients with injury to the CN, analysis of the quality of life made in the late postoperative period revealed its lowering with respect to all the constituents of mental and physical health.Multimodality prevention of CN injuries was carried out in 67 basic group patients and was aimed at exclusion or abatement of the intensity of the impact of the removable risk factors. The proposed measures made it possible to minimize the incidence of CN injuries from 19.5 to 4.5% and to appreciably improve the quality of life of operated patients.

KEY WORDS: injury to cranial nerves, carotid arteries, surgical treatment.

P. 96

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