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Neck Lymphadenectomy


The neck is separated into 6 regions to better describe the areas involved with cancer which are to be operated.

Variations of a neck lymphadenectomy

  • Radical (classical) neck lymphadenectomy in which lymph nodes are resected in regions 1-5 including the internal jugular vein, nerve XI, and the sternocleidomastoid muscle.  
  • Modified neck lymphadenectomy preserves one or more of the non-lymphatic structures to be removed by a radical neck lymphadenectomy. 
  • Selective neck lymphadenectomy in which nodes are removed within one or more regions. 
  • Elective resections in the neck are equivalent to radiation therapy in terms of results (1).

If possible, resection of the primary tumor is performed during the same surgery as the lymphadenectomy. 


  • Suspected or confirmed lymph node metastasis in the neck.


  • Removal of confirmed cancer in neck lymph nodes.


1. Reference: Storaker KA. Kartlegging av skulderfunksjon etter lymfeknutedisseksjon. Oslo: Rikshospitalet Universitetsklinikk, 2002

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