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August 1961

A Radical Axillary Lymph Node Dissection for Malignancy: Indications and Technique

Author Affiliations

From the Tumor Service, Department of Surgery, Post-Graduate Medical School, New York University, Bellevue Medical Center.; Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery (Dr. Gumport); Professor of Clinical Surgery (Dr. Lyall), and Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery (Dr. Zimany), Post-Graduate Medical School, New York University.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(2):227-230. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300140069012

While over the years various descriptions of axillary lymph node dissections have appeared, the method to be described has proved particularly satisfactory.1,5,6 It can be performed thoroughly, from an anatomical point of view, and it produces a good functional and cosmetic result. The morbidity and mortality rate is low. The exposure obtained is excellent.

Indications  The lymphatic flow into the axilla comes usually from the upper extremity, the shoulder, the lower neck, and the homolateral side of the thorax. A skin malignancy which arises in this area and which is capable of metastasizing may necessitate an axillary lymph node dissection. From a practical standpoint malignant melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of neoplasms encountered. Patients with malignant melanoma occurring in this area, after adequate removal of the primary tumor, are advised to have an axillary node dissection performed. This is done whether or not