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Open Access Highly Accessed Editorial

Neck dissection: an operation in evolution

Ashok R Shaha

Author Affiliations

Head and Neck Service, MSKCC 1275 York Avenue New York, NY 10021, USA

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2005, 3:22  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-3-22

Published: 18 April 2005

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

The most important prognostic factor in the management of head and neck cancer is the presence of cervical nodal metastasis. Once the tumor involves neck nodes, survival drops by almost 50%. Management of cervical metastasis has gone through an evolution since the beginning of the last century. The classic radical neck dissection, where all the neck nodes are removed along with 3 important structures – sternocleidomastoid muscle, internal jugular vein and accessory nerve – was popularized in the landmark article by George Crile. It subsequently became the standard of care in the management of neck nodes for almost 75 years.