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Abstract

The supraomohyoid neck dissection is a selective cervical node dissection that removes the contents of the submentai and submandibular triangles (lymph node level I), the jugulodigastric and jugulo-omohyoid lymph node groups, and the lymph nodebearing tissues located anterior to the cutaneous branches of the cervical plexus and above the omohyoid muscle (lymph node levels II and III). The sternocleidomastoid muscle, the spinal accessory nerve, and the internal jugular vein are preserved. This type of neck dissection is indicated in the surgical management of the neck in patients with large T2, T3, and T4 squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity in whom the cervical lymph nodes are either clinically negative (NO) or single, discrete, and less than 3 cm in diameter (N1). In this paper, we discuss the rationale for this operation, its staging, and its therapeutic value, and present a detailed description of the surgical technique.