Complicated emergent endovascular repair of a life-threatening bilateral internal jugular vein occlusion

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A 62-year-old woman had painful facial swelling that progressed to extensive periorbital and perioral edema with loss of vision, hearing, and consciousness. Her past surgical history was significant for right radical neck dissection including internal jugular vein (IJV) resection, laryngectomy, partial esophagectomy, tracheoesophageal fistula repair, and tracheostomy for squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. In addition, the patient had received radiation therapy to the neck. A venogram revealed occlusion of the left IJV. A guidewire from the femoral vein was passed through the occluded segment; however, attempts to introduce an angioplasty balloon failed. A percutaneous basilic vein approach allowed passage of a dilator sheath over a guidewire, thereby enabling Wallstent deployment across the IJV occlusion. A second Wallstent was inserted across a stenosis in the brachiocephalic vein; however, this second stent reoccluded the IJV. Surgical removal of the second Wallstent was required through a segmental claviculectomy and venotomy. Patency was restored in the IJV and the brachiocephalic vein with the return of baseline neurologic function. This case demonstrates a complicated emergent endovascular repair of a life-threatening IJV occlusion that required surgical salvage. (J Vasc Surg 2000;32:397-401.)

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