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Article
January 1976

The Posterior Triangle in Radical Neck Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at the Medical Center, Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(1):1-4. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780060047002
Abstract

• We evaluate the importance of cancer spread to the lymphatic system in the posterior triangle. The posterior triangle tissues of 51 radical neck specimens were serially sectioned and studied for metastatic involvement. The findings were correlated with the findings in the anterior triangle and the primary tumor. Of the 51 neck operations performed, 25 were elective and 26 were therapeutic for carcinoma of the larynx, pharynx, and oral cavity. Metastasis in the anterior triangles was detected in 88.4% of the therapeutic group and in 24.0% of the elective group. However, no metastasis in the posterior triangle was found in either group, regardless of the site of the tumor. We suggest that the posterior triangle can be totally preserved in radical neck surgery, which may make preservation of the spinal accessory nerve a more likely practice.

(Arch Otolaryngol 102:1-4, 1976)

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