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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2010, Article ID 953282, 3 pages
Case Report

Septic Bleeding of the Common Carotid Artery Following Total Thyroidectomy: An Atypical Complication

Department of General Surgery, University of Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

Received 26 October 2009; Accepted 14 January 2010

Academic Editor: Chung Yuen Lo

Copyright © 2010 T. Jamaan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Septic rupture of the common carotid artery following total thyroidectomy may rapidly lead to exsanguination. We present a case report of a 16-year-old girl, diagnosed with a questionable thyroglossal duct cyst. Following the initial operative intervention with local excision of the cyst including resection of the medial part of the hyoid bone, pathology revealed papillary carcinoma. Thus secondary total thyroidectomy with locoregional lymphadenectomy was performed. One week later, a wound infection developed, necessitating lavage and drainage. On the 8th postoperative day, a dramatic bleeding of the right common carotid artery occurred. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case in the literature with a septic bleeding of the common carotid artery following total thyroidectomy after one week.