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December 1960

A Utility Neck Incision

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, and the Departments of Otolaryngology and Surgery, State University of Iowa, College of Medicine.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;72(6):743-745. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.00740010757006

An appropriate incision for radical surgery in the neck region should provide adequate exposure, should preserve maximal blood supply to skin flaps, and should heal rapidly with minimal scar formation.

A curved incision which in essence combines anterior transverse and lateral oblique components and which resembles an incision previously advocated by Eckert and Byars3 seems to fulfill these requirements. The term utility is applied to the incision because it is adaptable to a wide variety of major neck region operations, including unilateral and bilateral radical neck dissection either alone or in combination with laryngectomy or partial mandibulectomy or glossectomy.

Technique  As illustrated in Figure 1, the incision begins anteriorly at the cricoid level and is carried laterally to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, continuing its gradual curve upward to end behind the prominence of the mastoid process. The inFig. 1.—Diagrammatic illustration of the Utility Incision. cision