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J Minim Access Surg. 2018 Jun 27. doi: 10.4103/jmas.JMAS_40_18. [Epub ahead of print]

Minimally invasive neck dissection: A 3-year retrospective experience of 45 cases.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Fortis Hospital; MACS Clinic, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Robot-assisted neck dissection requires a larger wound, is expensive and requires specialised equipment which is not easily available. We have developed an inexpensive minimally invasive neck dissection (MIND) procedure using simple endoscopic instruments in the past. This study was conducted to evaluate the safety, efficacy and reproducibility of the technique.

Materials and Methods:

From January 2013 to December 2016, we performed MIND on 45 patients with oral cancer using the standard endoscopic equipment. CO2gas insufflation was used to create the working space. Intra-operative data, post-operative data and pathological characteristics were evaluated and overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) Kaplan-Meier curves were compared using the Log-Rank test.


Median operative time was 130 (80-190) min with a mean blood loss of 63 (20-150) ml. Major intra-operative complications were not observed. The median number of nodes retrieved was 14 (range: 7-38). Three patients with a positive lymph node were advised to undergo adjuvant radiotherapy. After consultation, 12 out of 13 tongue cancer patients with a tumour depth >3 mm underwent adjuvant radiotherapy. Mean follow-up period was 31.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 27.9-35.1) months and 27.8 (95% CI 23.6-32.1) months for OS and DFS, respectively. Four (8.9%) deaths and 8 (17.8%) recurrences were observed. The 3-year OS and DFS was 91.1% and 82.2%, respectively.


MIND is aesthetically better than conventional procedures for oral cancer patients due to its safety, efficacy and reproducibility at any centre using the standard laparoscopic equipment.


Endoscopic neck dissection; laparoscopy; lip cancer; minimally invasive neck dissection; oral cancer

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