Objectives To demonstrate a novel/alternative technique for repair of the vertebral artery intraoperatively.
Design Left-sided retromastoid craniotomy in one patient.
Subjects A 61-year-old male patient with meningioma in the foramen magnum encasing the vertebral artery on the left side.
Methods Standard retrosigmoid craniotomy performed with preservation of transverse and sigmoid sinuses. The dura was opened and the cerebellum was retracted with CSF release. The tumour was debulked gradually. The attempt to peel the tumour from the vertebral artery resulted in arterial bleeding. The hole in the artery was sealed using an N-hydroxysuccinimide functionalised polyethylene glycol-coated collagen patch (Hemopatch®, Baxter Healthcare Ltd) as an onlay, applying pressure for 2 minutes. Another patch was applied for further support and the artery checked for haemostasis. The dura was closed with 3–0 vicryl and Hemopatch® onlay after further tumour debulking.
Results Haemostasis of the vertebral artery was achieved at 140 mmHg SBP and a catheter angiogram found no dissection or false lumen. The patient did not suffer postoperative haemorrhage and after three months of inpatient rehabilitation was discharged with significantly improved cranial nerve function. There was no CSF leak.
Conclusions Haemostasis was successfully achieved in the vertebral artery with this novel technique. It can prove to be important in such scenarios where direct cross-clamping and arterial repair is technically challenging and can lead to brainstem ischemia.
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