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Operative Technique
March 2002

A Logical and Stepwise Operative Approach to Radical Neck Dissection

Author Affiliations

JACKPICKLEMANMDFrom the Division of Surgical Oncology, University of California, Davis, Cancer Center, Sacramento (Dr Khatri); and the Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY (Dr Loree).

Arch Surg. 2002;137(3):345-351. doi:10.1001/archsurg.137.3.345

A thorough understanding of the anatomy of the neck is essential to avoid injury to vital structures when performing radical neck dissection. The complicated anatomical relations of the various nerves, vessels, and muscles within the confined area of the neck can often be daunting. We outline strategic anatomical landmarks and their relationships to important nerves, arteries, veins, and lymphatics to simplify the complicated and formidable anatomy of the neck. We also delineate key maneuvers that, when combined with the anatomical landmarks, offer a stepwise and logical approach to performing radical neck dissection that confers improved safety.

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