Effectiveness of selective neck dissection in the treatment of the clinically positive neck

Rajan S. Patel, Jonathan R. Clark, Kan Gao, Christopher J. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The aim of this work was to determine whether or not patients treated with therapeutic selective neck dissection for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were oncologically disadvantaged compared with those having comprehensive procedures. Methods. The study involves a retrospective review of 232 therapeutic neck dissections with a minimum of 2 years follow-up. Results. Patients having selective neck dissection had fewer adverse prognostic factors compared with patients having comprehensive dissection (pN2/3, p = .001; and extracapsular spread, p = .001). There were trends toward Improved control in the dissected neck (96% vs 86%, p = .06), and disease-specific survival (59% vs 43%, p = .06) following selective neck dissection. Disease-specific survival for all patients was adversely affected by pN classification (p <.001) and extracapsular spread (p <.001). Conclusions. Patients undergoing aggressive neck surgery had more extensive disease. Selective neck dissection can be used to effectively treat clinically positive nodal disease in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1236
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Metastases
  • Recurrence
  • Selective neck dissection
  • Squamous cell carcinoma


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