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Original Article
December 1977

The Submandibular Triangle in Radical Neck Dissection

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, and Veteran's Administration Lakeside Hospital Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1977;103(12):705-706. doi:10.1001/archotol.1977.00780290041003

• Various modifications of the standard radical neck dissection operation have been advocated since its original description. An ideal operation would offer maximum cure rates with minimal cosmetic and functional disturbance. The validity of removing the submandibular triangle contents as part of radical neck dissection was studied by analyzing the involvement of this region by metastatic squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Only three of the 51 neck-dissection specimens that were examined contained metastases to submandibular triangle lymph nodes. The primary sites were nose, floor of mouth, and retromolar trigone. None of the 26 laryngeal tumors in this series had spread to the submandibular triangle. In the absence of palpable submandibular or upper, deep cervical lymph nodes, the contents of the submandibular triangle can probably be left undisturbed in radical neck dissections for laryngeal cancer.

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