What are principles of neck dissection classification?

Updated: Aug 19, 2020
  • Author: Ron Mitzner, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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The current classification of neck dissections developed by the Committee for Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is based on the following governing principles:

  • Radical neck dissection is the standard basic procedure for cervical lymphadenectomy, and all other procedures represent one or more modifications to this procedure.

  • When modification of the radical neck dissection involves preservation of one or more nonlymphatic structures, the procedure is termed a modified radical neck dissection (see the Medscape Reference article Modified Radical Neck Dissection).

  • When the modification involves one or more lymph node groups that are routinely removed in the radical neck dissection, the procedure is termed a selective neck dissection.

  • When the modification involves removal of additional lymph node groups or nonlymphatic structures relative to the radical neck dissection, the procedure is termed an extended radical neck dissection.

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