Removing a carotid body tumor can be tricky. They have many more blood vessels than the usual tumor. Which increases the danger of bleeding. The surgery itself requires dividing the multiple connections to the branches of the carotid artery. The tumor can usually be surgically removed without doing too much damage to the arterial tissue. But in fewer than 5 percent of cases, it may be necessary to cut and patch the artery or replace it with a graft. Most patients only have to spend one or two days in the hospital.
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Any lump on the neck needs to be checked out. If you have or suspect you have a carotid body tumor, you’ll want to be treated at a major medical center where you have access to many different specialists. Here at Cleveland Clinic, vascular surgeons like me can call on a team of head and neck surgeons and any other involved specialists to address any and all eventualities that may arise around this rare condition. I think this team approach really sets us apart and gives our patients a great deal of confidence.