What is a radical neck dissection? when is it done?

What is a radical neck dissection? The surgeon removes a block of tissue from the collarbone to the jaw and from the front to the back of the neck. The large muscle on the side of the neck that is used for rotating, flexing or extending the neck is also taken out, along with the major vein on the side of the neck. Sometimes, a less drastic operation, called a supraomohyoid neck dissection is done. This takes out only the lymph nodes, the tissue surrounding the nodes and a muscle at the front of the neck. Another technique, called a functional neck dissection, saves the muscles of the neck, taking out only the lymph nodes and tissues surrounding them.
What kind of incision is made with a radical neck dissection? The incision depends upon what the surgery is for. It can run from below the ear to the collarbone. Everything in the front of the neck on one side or on both sides may be removed. This may include the lymph nodes, blood vessels, nerves, and the salivary gland under the jawbone.

What can we do if we can't afford the costs involved with our child's diabetes?

There is help available in the form of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a federal program that makes monthly cash payments to disabled people "who don't own much in the way of property or other assets and who don't have much income." Diabetes counts as a disability. A child's SSI payment can be as much as $771 a month, although some may get less because of their parents' income and some may get more because they live in a state that adds money to the federal payment.

To find out about eligibility request HEW Publication No. (SSA) 78-11039 (55/ For Disabled or Blind Children) from your local Social Security Office or the office in the nearest major city.

Even if at first you're turned down, all is not lost. You can then get a copy of HEW Publication No. (SSA) 75-10281 (Right To Appeal Supplemental Security Income) and try again.


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