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Oral Oncol. 2006 Jan;42(1):14-25. Epub 2005 Jun 23.

Elective and therapeutic selective neck dissection.

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Department of Surgical Sciences, ENT Clinic, University of Udine, Policlinico Universitario, Piazzale S. Maria della Misericordia, 33100 Udine, Italy.


Selective neck dissection is a modification of the more comprehensive modified radical or radical neck dissection that is designed to remove only those nodal levels considered to be at risk for harboring nodal metastases. The role of selective neck dissection continues to evolve: while initially designed as a staging and diagnostic procedure for patients without clinical evidence of nodal disease, a growing body of literature suggests that selective neck dissection has a therapeutic role in patients with clinical and histologic evidence of nodal metastases. The rationale behind selective neck dissection, its application in the clinically negative but histologically node-positive neck and the extended application of selective neck dissection in patients with clinical evidence of nodal disease are discussed.

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