What are lymph nodes?

They are part of the lymphatic system in the body and play major role in the immune system and in dissemination of malignancy.

What is Neck dissection?

It is a surgicalprocedure where lymph nodes removed from the neck, the procedure can be done on one side of the neck or both sides, it can be part of other surgeries or can be done alone, the surgery may include removing non lymphatic structure from the neck, your doctor will discuss with you in details what exactly will be done in the surgery and the importance of the Neck dissection  and if there is any available alternative.

Why did my doctor recommend Neck dissection? 

Your doctor will discuss with you the decision for Neck dissection and may offer the procedure in case of neck swelling or malignancy. 

How is Neck dissection procedure done?

It is done under general aesthesia, through a cut on the lateral part of the neck, the cut will be done with the normal creases of the skin to reduce the formation of a deep scar after surgery, the procedure can be done alone or as part of other procedures (thyroidectomy, laryngectomy, parotidectomy, nasopharyngeal biopsy or pan endoscopy) 

It will take 2-3 hours with possible 2-4 days admission

Possible complication 

Patients may bleed after an operation, or having a Hematoma.

Infection can occur after any surgical procedure including neck dissection

Chyle leak, (this problem is more common after left-sided neck dissections 

Wound healing problems

The marginal nerve, a small branch of the facial nerve which controls lower lip movement

The spinal accessory nerve which aids in shoulder mobility and raising the arm over the head

The hypoglossal nerve, which controls the movement of the tongue 

The lingual nerve, which controls sensation on the side of the tongue 

The vagus nerve which controls the movement of one vocal cord

What to expect after your surgery?

Pain is expected after surgery and it may last for the first few days. It is usually controlled with pain medicine.

You will have a drain (a small bag) in the site of the surgery to collect blood or secretion, and the doctor will remove it after 2-4 days depending on the amount of fluid collected.

A pressure dressing will be applied after surgery to avoid fluid collection in the wound, it might be a little uncomfortable, you can always inform your doctor and nurse.

You will be able to eat and drink normally after the surgery.

You will stay in the hospital for 2-4 days and you can go home after the doctor remove the drain.

The sutures will be removed after 7 days.

 The result of the tissue will be ready after 10-14 days, your doctor will discuss the result with you on your appointment. 

Written card with your appointments will be given before you go home.

At Home:

Take your medication on time

Sleep in a normal position 

You can eat a normal diet.

always Keep the area of surgery dry. 

You can drive normally unless you feel dizzy and unsteady.

Avoid heavy exercise in the first 2 weeks 

** when to come to emergency: (Hamad general hospital)

In case of swelling at the site of the surgery or breathing difficulty go IMMEDIATELY to HAMAD emergency