Elective neck dissection (END) is preferred in all treatment naïve patients with invasive oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), including the early stage, node negative cases (T1/T2 N0). Usually the conventional horizontal neck crease incision leads to a faintly visible scar in the neck. However sometimes, the neck scar is hypertrophic and is highly unaesthetic and psychologically distressing to the patient. Retro-auricular hairline approach has been popularized in the Robot assisted neck dissections (RoAND), to avoid easily visible scar in neck crease. We have been using the retro-auricular incision for selective neck dissection in early invasive OSCCs using an assembly of customized retractors as an open approach with only occasional use of endoscopes. This approach to the neck surgery is oncologically safe, reproducible and economical. It is cosmetically superior as the scar of neck dissection is in a less conspicuous area of the face, hidden behind the ear and in the hairline.
Keywords: Early oral cancer; Head & neck surgery; Neck nodal yield; Retro-auricular incision; Selective neck dissection.
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