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 do I do with the information I gather about my smoking habits?

It can be helpful to make a few lists and carry them with you.

• Make a list of situations that most strongly trigger your smoking urge. This will help you recognize them immediately when they occur, or even ahead of time. Work out some advance strategies to respond to this urge, listing some options that might work for you (e.g., leaving the situation, performing some alternative action like gum chewing, taking a walk, eating candy, or saying something prerehearsed to yourself or to others present).
• Decide what you will say when you are offered a cigarette, asked if you’ve quit yet, or teased. Rehearse these lines often; advocates of the power of positive thinking claim that mental rehearsals are perhaps just as powerful as real-life experiences in the quest to change your behavior.

• Make a list of your motivations to quit so you can reread it whenever you need to.

• Make a list of all your reasons not to smoke, including health reasons. This last suggestion is really a form of aversion treatment , and you may make the list as detailed and graphic as you wish (even using pictures of lung cancer or emphysema patients and blackened lung tissue if you are so inclined). Aversion treatment works for some people but actually discourages others, so use it only if you feel it will help.

And then, again, you may prefer not to make lists. Go with your honest intuition.


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