Surgical Technique

This chapter describes the surgical technique for a complete functional approach to the neck in which all cervical nodal groups are removed. For teaching purposes, the surgical steps are sequentially detailed. However, not every single surgical step of those mentioned must be considered mandatory for every malignant head and neck tumor. As previously emphasized in this book, the preservation of selected nodal groups is a valid option that does not modify the basic principle of the functional approach to the neck (i.e., the removal of lymphatic tissue by means of fascial dissection). Surgeons must be able to decide, according to their own personal experience, which nodal groups should be included in the dissection and which can be preserved, then proceed accordingly, skipping the surgical steps that are not considered necessary.

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