Management of the Lateral Neck in Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

  • Richard W. Nason
  • K. Alok Pathak
Part of the Head and Neck Cancer Clinics book series (HNCC)


Lymph node metastases to the lateral neck in well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC) do not appear to significantly impact overall survival. They probably do play a role in recurrence- and disease-free survival. As reviewed elsewhere in this monograph the extent of surgical resection should depend on the extent of cancer with the aim to control the cancer and avoid reoperation if possible with minimal morbidity. Management decisions for the lateral neck are based on desire for regional control balanced with complications of surgery. These considerations have driven controversy in both the timing of treatment (elective versus therapeutic neck dissection) and the extent of surgery necessary to control disease. At present, the balance of opinion favours observation or expectant management of the clinically negative lateral neck. The extent of neck dissection for clinically evident disease remains controversial.


Neck Dissection Lateral Neck Radical Neck Dissection Accessory Nerve Selective Neck Dissection 
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Copyright information

© K. Alok Pathak, Richard W. Nason, Janice L. Pasieka, Rehan Kazi, Raghav C. Dwivedi 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head and Neck Surgical OncologyCancerCare ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Head and Neck Surgical OncologyCancerCare Manitoba, University of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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