Management of the neck in malignant parotid neoplasm


  • Ahmed Abdelwanis Department of General Surgery, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, United Kingdom
  • Sowrav Barman Department of General Surgery, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, United Kingdom



Neck nodes, Neck dissection, Parotid cancer


Parotid gland cancer (PGC) are rare and accounts for 3% of all head and neck malignancies.The classification of parotid tumour is complex and comprises both benign and malignant neoplasms of epithelial and non-epithelial origin.There is marked variation in the histological features of these tumours,therefore treatment options of parotid cancer is widely varied.Lymph node metastasis to the neck is one of the most important factors in therapy and prognosis for patients with parotid malignancy. This article reviews the literature regarding neck management of parotid cancer in cases of both clinically positive (cN+) and clinically negative (cN-) neck nodes. The literature search was performed using Google search engine, PUB Med to identify relevant articles on recommendations for neck management in patients with parotid cancer in cases of both clinically positive (cN+) and negative (cN-) neck nodes. Due to the rarity of parotid cancer and the wide histopathological varieties, the literature was hard to interpret. There is a consensus about managing clinically positive neck with therapeutic neck dissection. Most studies agree on elective neck dissection in certain indications which are high T stage, high grade histology, facial paralysis, age, extraglandular extension, peri-lymphatic invasion. Level II to IV appears to be at higher risk and can be done through the same parotidectomy incision. The role of irradiation in cN- necks is not clear but some studies recommend its usage for curative intent and argue that it adds less morbidity than the elective neck dissection. Although the management of the neck in cN+ patients is widely agreed, controversy still exists about the need for elective neck dissection in cN- patients and the levels which should be dissected.


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