The application of selective neck dissection while preserving the cutaneous branches of cervical plexus in the surgical treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer—experiences from thousands of cases
Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is associated with the highest propensity for lymph node metastases, given the significant morbidity associated with sacrificing the spinal accessory nerve, surgeons increasingly looked to minimizing functional deficits while maintaining oncologic outcome. We have detailed the technique of a selective neck dissection with more attention to preserving the cervical sensory nerves since 1999 in Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. We found that the radical dissection with preservation of the cutaneous branches including the great auricular nerve, the less occipital nerve and the supraclavicular nerve can maximally decrease the complications of paresthesia and dysesthesia postoperatively in the lower neck, the shoulders and the area around the ear in DTC cases when indications were allowed. As long as the principles of cancer surgery are strictly followed, our approach guarantees radical tumor removal and exhibit more functional preservation.