Selective neck dissection is a function-preserving, low-morbidity option for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and occult or early nodal disease. The current staging modalities, (ie, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography) still are unable to reliably predict either nodal metastasis or presence of extracapsular spread. Therefore, the surgeon often does not know the histologic node stage of the neck during the planning stages of the surgical approach.
Bradford CR. Selective Neck Dissection Is an Option for Early Node-Positive Disease. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(12):1436. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.12.1436