Superselective neck dissection: rationale, indications, and results

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Nov;270(11):2815-21. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2344-5. Epub 2013 Jan 16.


It has been established that an appropriately indicated selective neck dissection can achieve the same oncologic results as more extensive dissections. An even more modified selective neck dissection, termed superselective neck dissection, involves the compartmental removal of the fibrofatty tissue contents within the defined boundaries of two or fewer contiguous neck levels. Evidence from retrospective studies suggests that superselective neck dissection (SSND) is oncologically sound for two indications: elective treatment of the clinically N0 neck and salvage treatment of persistent lymph node disease after chemoradiotherapy. While there is broader support for the former scenario, evidence that SSND may constitute optimal treatment in the latter is in conformity with the trend toward developing surgical techniques that provide better functional outcomes without compromising efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neck Dissection / methods*
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Treatment Outcome