Neck dissection is surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the neck.
Neck dissection is a major surgery done to remove lymph nodes that have cancer. It is done in the hospital. Before surgery, you will receive general anesthesia. This will make you sleep and unable to feel pain.
The amount of tissue and the number of lymph nodes that are removed depend on how far the cancer has spread. There are three main types of neck dissection surgery.
The lymph system carries white blood cells around the body to fight infection. Cancer cells in the mouth or throat can travel in the lymph fluid and get trapped in the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are removed to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body and to decide if any more treatment is needed.
Your doctor may recommend this procedure if:
Risks for any surgery are:
Other risks for this surgery are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the days before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
You will be taken to the recovery room to wake up after surgery.
The nurses will help you get out of bed and move around a little on the day of the surgery. You may start physical therapy while you are in the hospital and after you go home.
Most people are go home from the hospital in 2 - 3 days. You will need to see your doctor for a follow up visit in 7 - 10 days.
Healing time depends on how much tissue was removed.
Radical neck dissection; Modified radical neck dissection; Selective neck dissection; Lymph node removal - neck
Robbins KT, Samant S, Ronen O. Neck Dissection. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 121.
Updated by: A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang. Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.
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