Penetrating foreign body in the masticator space with injury to the internal maxillary artery: a surgical challenge

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Foreign bodies (FBs) in the masticator space (MS) are a unique problem because of the difficulty of accessing this deep compartment within the head and neck. In addition, MS contents include critical structures such as the internal maxillary artery (IMA) and mandibular nerve.


A 39-year-old tradesman was involved in a construction accident whereby a metallic projectile from a machinery drill penetrated his left cheek. Computed tomography revealed a metallic object of dimension 1.9 ×1.2 cm within the MS, with concomitant fracture of left maxillary anterior and lateral walls. Surgery was indicated in view of constant pain and swelling. The FB was removed through the cheek laceration with the aid of an X-ray image intensifier. Persistent significant bleeding was observed within the wound cavity after FB removal that could not be arrested despite attempts at haemostasis with adrenaline packing and oxidised cellulose polymers. Urgent selective left external carotid angiography showed breach of a distal branch of the left internal maxillary artery with contrast extravasation. Embolisation of this branch was undertaken successfully with a liquid agent.


This is the first time a FB within the MS with injury to the internal maxillary artery has been described.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles