International Journal of Head and Neck Surgery

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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Neck Nodes at Level IIB in Oral Cavity Carcinoma: Can We Leave Behind Visible Nodes?

Sajith Babu, Atul Singh, Sangeetha Nayanar, Geetha Muttath, Satheesan Balasubramanian

Keywords : Level IIB, Neck dissection, Oral cancer

Citation Information : Babu S, Singh A, Nayanar S, Muttath G, Balasubramanian S. Neck Nodes at Level IIB in Oral Cavity Carcinoma: Can We Leave Behind Visible Nodes?. Int J Head Neck Surg 2018; 9 (4):117-120.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10001-1377

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-09-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Introduction: Oral cancer patients have a chance of metastasis to the cervical nodes. A prophylactic neck dissection is advised in clinically undetectable necks. The extent of the neck dissection has been in doubt and various levels with a low propensity are usually skipped such as level IIB. Though a routine level IIB node dissection is not suggested in patients with N0 neck, it is often confusing when visible nodes are present in this subgroup. Patients and methods: A prospective analysis of consecutive oral cancer patients was conducted to see for level IIB nodes in an ipsilateral neck dissection. Results: Forty-four patients underwent a neck dissection, including level IIB, retrieving 165 nodes from level IIB. Stage-wise distribution was 9, 22, 3, and 10 patients in T1, T2, T3, and T4 stages with majority in tongue cancers. An estimated 30 patients had a clinically node-positive disease, but only 18 underwent a modified or radical neck dissection. A pathologically node positive disease was seen in 12 patients, but only two had level IIB positive (0.01%), both of which had positive level IIA nodes. Conclusion: This study adds to the evidence that the majority of nodes in level IIB are reactive nodes and a metastasis to this group in isolation is unlikely.

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