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Article
June 1991

Standardizing Neck Dissection TerminologyOfficial Report of the Academy's Committee for Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology

Author Affiliations

The members of the Subcommittee for Neck Dissection Nomenclature, Committee for Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, are as follows: K. Thomas Robbins, MD, San Diego, Calif; Jesus E. Medina, MD, Oklahoma City, Okla; Gregory T. Wolfe, MD, Ann Arbor, Mich; Paul A. Levine, MD, Charlottesville, Va; Roy B. Sessions, MD, New York, NY; and Charles W. Pruet, MD, Buffalo, NY.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):601-605. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180037007
Abstract

• The emergence of the multitude of modified techniques for neck dissection procedure has resulted in a nomenclature system that is nonuniform. To eliminate potential misinterpretation, overlap, and lack of standardization, the Academy's Committee for Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology, with input from the Education Committee of the American Society of Head and Neck Surgery, has developed a classification system for these procedures. This has now been adopted by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. The classification is based on the following concepts: (1) radical neck dissection is the fundamental procedure with which all other neck dissections are compared, (2) modified radical neck dissection denotes preservation of one or more nonlymphatic structure(s), (3) selective neck dissection denotes preservation of one or more group(s) of lymph nodes, and (4) extended radical neck dissection denotes removal of one or more additional lymphatic and/or nonlymphatic structure(s). Adherence to the principles of this classification system to describe neck dissection techniques should provide an improved method of communication. Furthermore, the system provides a rational framework on which subsequent terminology can be added.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:601-605)

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