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Neck Dissection Outcomes from Waikato Hospital (New Zealand)

Ellen OY Simpson et al / NZ Medical Journal 2023 Oct 6; 136(1583)


Aims: The aim of this study is to analyse the demographics, diagnosis, nodal yield, metastatic rates and outcomes of patients undergoing neck dissections within the Waikato Hospital Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) Department.

Methods: All patients that underwent neck dissections under the care of OMS at Waikato Hospital between January 2016 and December 2021 were included. Data on patient demographics, diagnosis, surgery details, nodal yields, histological results and clinical outcome were collected retrospectively for analysis.

Results: One hundred and five patients and 123 neck dissections were included in the final analysis. The median age was 65 years of age. The average nodal yield from a selective neck dissection of levels I–III was 20.1 and I–IV was 25.4. There was no metastatic nodal disease in level IIb, and only 2 neck dissections with nodal disease in level IV. Complications were mostly associated with free flap reconstruction rather than the neck dissection alone.

Conclusions: The demographics and outcomes of the study cohort are consistent with both the current population and previously published head and neck data. The OMS unit at Waikato Hospital recommends omission of levels IIb and IV in neck dissections for cN0 cases if deemed oncologically safe to do so.

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