Dr.Satish c- Surgical Oncologist in bangalore

Neck Dissection for Thyroid Cancer

The lymph nodes around the thyroid gland are affected by malignancy in 30 to 50 percent of thyroid cancer patients. Removal of these lymph nodes can help in managing thyroid cancers successfully.

Neck Dissection For Thyroid Cancer

Neck Dissection for Thyroid Cancer


Neck dissection is a surgical procedure recommended by head and neck cancer surgeons to remove the lymph nodes present in the neck region.

Neck dissection may be performed as a treatment or preventive measure in thyroid cancer patients, depending on the stage of the condition. It could be performed at the time of thyroidectomy or later.

Neck Dissection for Thyroid Cancer​ 2

More about Neck Dissection for Thyroid Cancer

Following are the types of neck dissection:

  1. Radical Neck Dissection: Nearly all of the lymph nodes on one side of the neck, from the jawline to the collarbone, are removed during a radical neck dissection, along with muscles, nerves, and veins.


  1. Modified Radical Neck Dissection: It is the most preferred type of neck dissection, where all lymph nodes are removed. However, this procedure spares major nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.


  1. Selective Neck Dissection: Only a few lymph nodes are removed during this procedure. Just like modified radical neck dissection, this procedure also spares the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles in the neck region. 


How is Neck Dissection Performed?

Neck dissections are performed under general anesthesia through an incision that runs along a skin crease in the neck and extends vertically on the side of the neck. Typically, incisions are made to allow for safer excision of cancerous lymph nodes and to improve visibility and protection of crucial neck structures.

The dissection then proceeds to identify and remove the tissue containing the lymph nodes from beneath the skin, underlying fat, and a thin layer of muscle (the platysma). This is a safe procedure that helps in preventing the cancer from spreading to other organs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Neck dissection is recommended when:

  • You are diagnosed with the cancer of oral cavity, thyroid gland, throat, and other regions of the neck
  • If your cancer has metastasized to lymph nodes in the neck region
  • If your doctor suspects that your cancer could spread to other body parts

In most cases, speech and swallowing abilities are not affected due to neck dissection. However, if you have concerns related to this procedure’s impact on your speech and swallowing abilities, you should talk to your doctor before the procedure.

  • Usually the swelling from the surgery reduces 4 to 5 days after surgery. There could be numbness and weakness. These issues are resolved for the majority of people in 6 to 12 months.

Possible complications of neck dissection include bleeding, chyle leak (fluid accumulation in the neck region), delayed wound healing, neck stiffness, nerve damage, numbness, shoulder weakness, and changes in speech and swallowing functions.

Dr. Satish C is a reputed head and neck cancer surgeon with 7 years of experience. He is the best specialist for neck dissection in Bangalore.