Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis Following Different Types of Neck Dissection

Document Type : Original


1 Otorhinolaryngology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Oncologic Surgery, Cancer Institute, Imam Khomeini Medical Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


During functional neck dissection, the surgeon tries to preserve the internal jugular vein (IJV); however, the incidence of its narrowing or obstruction following modified radical neck dissection (MRND) or selective neck dissection (SND) varies between 0% and 29.6%. The most distressing complication of IJV thrombosis (IJVT) is pulmonary embolism. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of IJVT following selective or modified radical neck dissection. 
Materials and Methods:
In this study, 109 neck dissections were performed with the preservation of the IJV on 89 patients from March 2011 to December 2012 in the Cancer Institute of Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran, Iran. Ultrasound evaluation of the IJV was performed in the early postoperative period and three months after the surgery.
The study population consisted of 62 male and 27 female patients with a mean age of 57+17.57 years. Ultrasound evaluation of the IJV among the participants (109 veins) indicated thrombosis in nine veins (8.25%) in the early postoperative period, four of which remained thrombotic and without flow three months after the surgery. Moreover, 96.33% of the IJVs were patent with a normal blood flow three months after the neck dissection. Among the evaluated IJVs, the only factor that showed a significant association with IJVT was the incidence of postoperative complications, including hematoma and seroma (P=0.01).

It seems that the most important factor for the prevention of the IJVT is a meticulous surgery and surgical complication avoidance during neck dissection.


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