Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Surg. 2015 Aug;58(4):245-9.

Patient and observer scar assessment scores favour the late appearance of a transverse cervical incision over a vertical incision in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy for stroke risk reduction.

Author information

From the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine (Deck); the Department of Surgery, Section of Vascual Surgery, University of Saskatchewan (Kopriva); and the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (Kopriva), Regina, Sask.


in English, French


Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a very common operation, but there is no agreement on the appropriate orientation of the surgical incision.


We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who had undergone CEA between Jul. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013. We contacted patients identified in the review to solicit participation in a clinical follow-up examination, during which the esthetic outcome of the scar was evaluated using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS).


During the study period 237 CEAs were performed. Nine patients refused the use of their personal health information in this study. There were no significant differences in the neurologic outcomes of patients based on the incision orientation (perioperative stroke and death 1.4% with transverse incision v. 0% with a vertical incision, p = 0.44). Fifty-two patients presented for follow-up examination. Thirty-three had a transverse incision and 19 had a vertical incision. Results of the POSAS significantly favoured the transverse incision (p = 0.03). Vertical incisions were more often associated with persistent, mild marginal mandibular nerve dysfunction (p = 0.04).


Carotid endarterectomy performed through a transverse skin incision compared with a vertically oriented skin incision is associated with improved esthetic outcome, as measured by the POSAS, without an observed statistically significant difference in the risk of perioperative stroke or death between the 2 techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Canadian Medical Association Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center