Localization of the carotid artery within the tonsillar fossa by doppler flow mapping

Robert A. Hendrix, Charles K. Bacon, Michael E. Hoffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Injury to the internal carotid artery during procedures performed in the tonsillar fossa can be catastrophic. Tonsillectomy or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty was performed on 32 patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Using Doppler ultrasonography, the course of the internal carotid artery in the postsurgical tonsillar fossa was mapped. The results indicate that, in the majority of patients, the internal carotid artery is located between 20% and 60% of the total width across the tonsillar fossa, as measured from the posterior pillar. Appreciation of the surgical anatomy of the tonsillar fossa with respect to the internal carotid artery should contribute to improved intraoperative judgment and further limit the risk of vascular injury during oropharyngeal procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-856
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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