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 is a dilated ring?

Each side of the lower (groin) end of the abdomen has a potential opening. Each opening can be likened to a double set of doors. The inner door is the internal ring and the outer door is the external ring. Normally the external ring is the size of the examiner's fingertip. When its walls are stretched or lax, it is referred to as a dilated or wide ring. This is of no importance unless abdominal contents go through it in which case there is a true hernia. Presumably a wide ring means that one day it may permit a hernia to occur. There are a lot of "ifs," "maybes" and "we don't know whens" about it. A wide ring requires no treatment and no concern. If you have no symptoms, forget it and have the area examined again if it becomes painful or swollen.


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