Carotid body tumor or Chemodectoma or Paraganglioma Treatment in India

Released Date : 2021-02-19

Carotid body tumor or Chemodectoma or Paraganglioma Treatment in India

What is a Carotid body tumor or Chemodectoma or Paraganglioma?

A carotid body tumor is a growth on the side of your neck in the area where the large carotid artery splits off into smaller blood vessels that carry blood to your brain. You have two carotid arteries ? one on each side of your neck ? that supply blood to the front of the brain, which is responsible for thinking, speech, personality, and sensory and motor functions.


In most patients with a carotid body tumor, there is no known cause except for hypoxia (the chronic oxygen deprivation that may come from living at high altitudes).  In a smaller percentage of patients heredity can be a cause.


  • Hoarseness.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Partial paralysis or numbness in the tongue.
  • Weakness or pain in the shoulders.
  • Vision changes, or a drooping eyelid.
  • High blood pressure or heart palpitations.
  • A bruit – the distinct whooshing sound of blood pushing past an obstruction.


  • Ultrasound – A test that uses a special tool (transducer/wand) that sends sound waves inside your body to create pictures.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – A test that uses a large magnet and radio waves to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body.
  • Computed Tomography (CT scan) – a special type of X-ray-Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) – an MRI that checks for problems with your blood vessels.


In general, a vascular surgeon will perform a transcatheter embolization and a bypass graft, if needed.

  • Transcatheter Embolization - A transcatheter embolization is a procedure that reduces blood supply to the tumor. It is done two or three days before surgery. A catheter will be guided through your groin artery into the blood vessels that feed blood to the tumor. Then, medication and/or a blocking device, such as foam, plastic, metal coil, or glue is used to stop the blood flow to the tumor.

Carotid body tumor or Chemodectoma or Paraganglioma Symptoms and Treatment

  • Surgical Removal (Resection) - The tumor can be removed without the need to repair or remove part of the carotid artery. If the artery does need to be repaired, it may be fixed with a simple suture repair. Sometimes, a more complicated repair is needed, such as creating a patch over a hole made during the tumor removal or replacing a section of the artery with a bypass graft (using another blood vessel to create a new pathway for the blood to flow).

Risks of Treatment

One possible complication is stroke, but this is rare and happens in less than 2% of carotid body tumor removals. The risk is highest for patients who have large tumors and need to have vascular repair or replacement.

If the tumor affects the nerves near the carotid artery, such as the vagus nerve, facial nerve or hypoglossal nerve that controls your tongue, part of the nerve may needs to be removed. This can leads to nerve problems if the tumor is large, but the overall risk of permanent nerve damage is less than 5%. If the tumor is cancerous, there is a less than 5% chance it will spread to other areas of your body (metastatic disease).The risk of having another carotid body tumor after surgery is 5% to 10%.

Frequently asked questions

Q.Is a carotid body tumor cancer?

Carotid body tumors are not generally cancerous. However, they can grow quickly and become large. Because of this, the best treatment is often surgery to remove the tumor. In few cases, radiation therapy is used.

Q.How is carotid body tumor treated?

Carotid body tumors (CBTs) are treated with either surgery or radiotherapy. Need to consider the following factors before starting any treatment: presence of other paragangliomas, bilateral carotid body tumors, the age and the health of the patient, and the patient's preference.

Q.How long is the hospital stay for carotid artery surgery?

Patients usually stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days after the surgery to allow time for recovery and time for the physician to monitor progress.

Q.How do you feel after carotid artery surgery?

  • Headaches, confusion, numbness or weakness in any part of your body.
  • Problems with your vision, problems speaking, or trouble understanding what others are saying.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath that does not go away with rest.

Q.What can go wrong with carotid artery surgery?

  • Stroke or TIA
  • Heart attack. Pooling of blood into tissue around the incision site causing swelling.

Q.How can I naturally clean my arteries in my neck?

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Add more good fats to your diet. Good fats are also called unsaturated fats
  • Cut sources of saturated fat, such as fatty meat and dairy. Choose lean cuts of meat, and try eating more plant-based meals
  • Eliminate artificial sources of trans fats
  • Increase your fiber intake
  • Cut back on sugar

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