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When dealing with skull base tumors that encase the internal carotid artery (ICA), the surgeon must decide between ICA preservation and incomplete tumor resection, or radical resection with ICA sacrifice. In our experience with more than 300 anterior skull base tumors, the ICA was sacrificed in only 10 patients. These tumors were malignant, except for one meningioma that occluded the ICA and produced translent ischemic symptoms. All patients had the ICA resected with the tumor, and all patients underwent revascularization (cervical ICA-MCA saphenous bypass, n = 4; cervical-to-supraclinoid bypass, n = 1; petrous-to-supraclinoid bypass, n = 3; bonnet bypass, n = 2). This small patient series reflects our practice of preserving the ICA whenever possible. We recommend preserving the ICA with benign tumors because they do not invade the artery, or do so only to a limited extent. In addition, similar rates of tumor recurrence are seen after aggressive resection with or without ICA sacrifice. In contrast, we recommend radical tumor resection and sacrifice of the ICA with malignant tumors because they directly threaten the integrity of the ICA and the patient's survival. The ICA should not be considered a limitation to radical tumor resection because the ICA can be reconstructed safely with an appropriate bypass procedure.