Surgical scar

Surgical scar

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Surgical scar on the neck of a 76-year-old woman. The surgical incision (now sewn up with sutures) was made during an operation on the carotid artery to correct vascular complications from diabetes. This is 12 days after the operation. The operation is called a carotid endarterectomy. There are two carotid arteries on each side of the neck, taking oxygenated blood to the head. Diabetes mellitus (failure to metabolise blood sugars) can result in a build up of fatty plaques on blood vessel walls. This can reduce blood supply to the brain, or lead to clots that can cause a stroke. Endarterectomy surgically removes the fatty plaques. Tongue palsy developed after this surgery, see image M240/476.

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