THE management of patients with advanced malignant neoplasms often necessitates an emergency surgical procedure. In the treatment of eroding neoplasms of the head and neck, ligation of the major arteries supplying these anatomic areas may become a necessity for the preservation of life. In these circumstances it may be indicated to ligate the common carotid artery or the external carotid artery, and sometimes certain of its branches.
Ligation of these vessels is advocated (1) to protect against bleeding, as a preliminary step to a radical surgical procedure on the head or neck; (2) to control active hemorrhage, and (3) to diminish the blood supply to inoperable neoplastic lesions, in the hope of decreasing the tumor growth and/or of preventing bleeding.
Specifically, the common carotid artery may be ligated to control profuse hemorrhage from the deeper structures of the upper cervical regions, as well as from ulcerating neoplasms in the throat.