An important part of the lymphatic and immune system are the lymph node clusters located in several areas of the body. These lymph node clusters filter foreign materials, like bacteria, and form the body's white blood cells. Many of the lymph node clumps are found throughout the head and neck in the tonsils, thymus, neck, jaw, and more. Head and neck cancers including mouth, tongue, larynx, and the thyroid gland may spread to the lymph nodes. Once the lymph nodes are affected with cancer, the lymph fluid that flows throughout the body can spread the infection. This is why it is important for patients with head and neck cancer to consider neck lymph node dissection with advanced technology at Arizona Premier Surgery. Depending on the number of lymph nodes and their spread throughout the neck, the patient may need a selective, modified radical, or radical neck dissection to remove all areas affected by the cancer.
Common Reasons for Surgery
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes is the most common reason neck lymph node dissection surgery is performed. Cancer in the lymph nodes makes it easier to spread the cancer to other parts of the body (a process known as lymph node metastasis). After the abnormal lymph nodes are removed, they can be biopsied to determine if the patient has cancer and which stage they are in.
About Lymph Node Dissection
Surgical neck lymph node dissection is performed with the patient under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility or hospital. After the necessary incisions are made in the neck, the surgeon will perform one of the three types of neck dissection based on the location and spread of the cancer:
- Selective Neck Dissection: If the cancer hasn't spread, selective neck dissection can remove fewer lymph nodes, which minimizes the risk of damage to the neck muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.
- Modified Radical Neck Dissection: In this common neck dissection technique, all of the lymph nodes are removed along with some neck tissue. A modified radical neck dissection can usually avoid damage to the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels of the neck.
- Radical Neck Dissection: When the cancer has spread throughout the head and neck, a radical neck dissection is performed to remove all the lymph nodes, as well as a large amount of tissue from the neck. The muscles, nerves, salivary glands, and blood vessels may also be removed from the areas surrounding the lymph nodes.
What to Expect
Neck lymph node dissection surgery is usually a 1 hour out-patient procedure, so the patient will be able to go home the same day as their surgery. Most patients will need about 1 week recovery time before they can return to work and normal activities. A follow up appointment with the doctor should be scheduled for 2 weeks after the surgery to check the patient's health and the progress of their recovery.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 Week
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 Hour
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Stop the Spread
To prevent head and neck cancer from spreading to other areas body through infected lymph nodes and fluid, surgical neck lymph node dissection at Arizona Premier Surgery can be a good option. By removing and examining the lymph nodes, the extent of the cancer can be determined for a more personalized cancer treatment plan.