A study of radical neck dissections performed in a department of otolaryngology demonstrates that radiation therapy does give a higher incidence of complications in direct proportion to the amount of radiation used. However, contrary to some reports, the mortality and morbidity of the radical neck dissection are lower than previously thought. Utilization of newer techniques can further reduce mortality and morbidity justifying a more aggressive approach in surgery of advanced lesions.
Yarington CT, Yonkers AJ, Beddoe GM. Radical Neck DissectionMortality and Morbidity. Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(4):306–308. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010316003