The standard treatment of metastatic lymph nodes in the neck from oral carcinoma is surgical excision.
Since the beginning of this century, adequate surgical procedures have been described and used by many surgeons. Priority must be given to Butlin (1900)1 and Crile (1906),2 both having described the so-called radical neck dissection (the latter's operation being more extensive and the type of operation practiced in our hospital).
Nearly all surgeons who are called upon to treat malignancy of the head and neck have no doubt as to the efficacy of the radical neck dissection where there are cervical node metastases.
The prophylactic neck dissection, that is, the dissection done without palpable neck nodes, was discontinued in our hospital in the middle 1930's. The reason for this was the very low percentage of positive metastatic nodes found at pathological examination.
However, many careful studies have been produced during the last
PALMER JD, MARTIN SJ. Radical Neck Dissection for Cervical Lymph Node Metastases of Intraoral Carcinoma: A Reevaluation. Arch Surg. 1960;81(2):233–235. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01300020061009
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