Neck Dissection

Review by P J Bradley
Nottingham, UK

This publication, when offered to me for review, seemed unlikely to be a ‘best seller’, because during my career I had read so much on the topic in articles and books, and heard a great deal at international meetings. To my great surprise, all content has been summarised and updated, by Stack, Moreno and their team, for ‘easy reading and video viewing’ by the current and up-and-coming new generation of head and neck oncologists, both surgeons and non-surgeons.

The book is split into 28 chapters, spread over 294 pages, with a comprehensive index to allow the reader to delve into the text when required. The contributors number 53 in total, of whom most practise in the USA, if not in Arkansas (naturally more easily controlled, ensuring manuscripts are delivered on time!), while the remainder work in Canada, Argentina, India, Korea, Turkey, Belgium and, with some surprise, one contributor from Singapore has been termed a national of China! Each chapter contains copious tables and figures (coloured clinical pictures, radiological images and line drawings, of anatomy, histopathology and surgical dissection), as well as multiple references, all relevant to the topic under discussion.

The references, by the nature of this book and its topic of neck dissection, must include most, if not all, of the key historical publications, many of the authors of which have contributed greatly to advancements in our understanding of head and neck cancer and the disease process. Each chapter has included references from early 2017, but still some chapters have cited a few references ‘in press’ (which could have been corrected in the time-period between typesetting and print), and I must comment that book editors should not encourage authors to reference previously published textbook chapters as evidence of science, as such comments may not have been through a peer-reviewed process.

Chapters 1–5 cover clinical assessment, surgical anatomy, biology, extracapsular spread, and the history and development of the nodal classification system. Chapters 6–10 focus on therapeutic neck dissection surgery, commencing with the radical neck, and de-escalating into the modified neck, selective neck, supraomohyoid neck (a selective neck!) and salvage neck dissection. Chapters 11 and 12 cover the complications and rehabilitation after neck dissection. Chapters 13–15 discuss imaging using computed tomography (CT)/magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and positron emission tomography/CT. Chapters 16–19 cover head and neck malignancies other than mucosal squamous cell carcinoma, including skin cancer (melanoma), and salivary and thyroid cancers. Chapters 20–23 concern elective, robotic and radio-guided neck dissection and sentinel lymph node biopsy. The remaining chapters cover neuromonitoring (Chapter 24), radiation therapy (Chapter 25) and systemic therapies (Chapter 26). The final chapters’ histopathology and outcome measures are placed appropriately, but probably should be read first by the budding surgical community.

This book is a credit to the editors and their contributors for their diligence and comprehensive review of the ‘most commonly performed operation that a head and neck surgeon undertakes in their career’, and to Thieme for their quality of print, production and presentation.

This is a must-have purchase for current and future trainees pursuing a career in head and neck oncology.

Amazon Link: Neck Dissection
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