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About The Surgery

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Neck Dissection Surgery

A neck dissection is a systematic way to remove unusual masses of lymph nodes from the neck. This is altogether different than culling out several nodes from the neck (which should just be done in rare situations when every other methodology has failed to reach the desired conclusion. Removing lymph nodes from the neck does not compromise with your body's ability to fight diseases—so the patient ought not to be stressed over that.

Why Neck Dissection Surgery is Required?

Head and neck tumour can spread to your lymph hubs. Lymph hubs are little oval or round organs along your lymphatic system.

In case your specialist suspects that there's a high risk of growth spreading to the lymph hubs in your neck, or if it has already spread to those nodes, your treatment may incorporate having a neck dissection. This is a medical procedure to remove the lymph nodes in the neck zone.

There are a few types of neck dissections. The type you will have will depend on the location of the tumour, regardless of whether it has spread to your lymph nodes, and whether it has spread to different structures in your neck.

In a nutshell, neck dissection surgery is performed in following conditions:

  • The patient has cancer of mouth, tongue, and thyroid gland.
  • Patient’s throat or neck have cancerous cells.
  • Cancerous cells may spread to other body parts.
  • Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Who is a Candidate for Neck Dissection Surgery?

If a person is suffering from the following symptoms, the doctors perform some diagnostic tests like PET, MRI, MRI and x-ray. If the presence of cancer is affirmed, the patient is considered suitable to undergo neck dissection surgery.

  • Trouble in breathing
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent coughing
  • Change in voice or hoarseness
  • Ear pain or trouble hearing
  • A persistent headache
  • An unexplained bad breath
  • A white or red patch in the mouth
  • Nasal obstruction or persistent congestion
  • Frequent nosebleeds or unusual discharge
  • Painless or painful lumps in the nose, neck or throat

How is the Procedure Performed?

  • Selective Neck Dissection Only certain portions of lymph nodes will be removed. There are 6 lymph node zones in a person’s neck. With a specific neck dissection, some parts of the lymph nodes will be removed, contingent upon the location of a tumour. Usually this kind of neck dissection is suggested in three circumstances: (1) to decide whether there has been microscopic spread of a tumour, (2) to determine whether all the diseased cells are removed after radiation and chemotherapy, or (3) to remove a small cancerous lymph node if medical procedure is the primary treatment and no chemotherapy or radiation treatment is needed.
  • Modified Radical Neck Dissection Most of the lymph nodes from the neck (from the jawbone to the neckline bone) will be removed, alongside either a muscle, nerve or vein (or both of these structures). Modified radical neck dissection and the radical neck dismemberment are performed when there is proof of lymph node metastasis.
  • Radical Neck Dissection The majority of the lymph nodes from the neck are removed, alongside a muscle (sternocleidomastoid muscle), a nerve (cranial nerve XI — spinal adornment nerve), and a vein (interior jugular vein). It is essential to understand that it is safe to remove these structures without causing noteworthy bodily dysfunction or disfigurement.

Amid the procedure, the specialist will make an incision in your neck, which starts just underneath ear and broadens in a descending manner towards the centre of neck. The lymph nodes in neck are made visible to the specialist who then performs the surgery. Every so often, the specialist may likewise remove different tissues, for example, a bit of skin, if the tumour influences it.

What Complications May Arise Postoperatively?

Possible complications after neck dissection surgery are:

  • Numb Skin The skin of the neck will be numb after the medical procedure. This will improve after some time to some degree, yet you should not expect the sensation to come back to normal soon enough.
  • Stiff Neck A few patients find that their neck is more rigid after the invasive surgical procedure.
  • Blood Clot At times the drainage tubes which were placed amid the medical procedure may end up blocked, making blood gather under the skin and cause coagulation (haematoma). If this happens, it is typically essential to inform the doctor, so that it can be removed.
  • Chyle Leakage Chyle is the tissue liquid, which keeps running in lymph channels. Sometimes one of these channels called the thoracic channel leaks after the surgery. If this happens, lymph liquid or chyle can gather under the skin. Your doctor will ask you to get admitted into the hospital for further treatment.

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