Since the description of the systematic en bloc neck dissection by Crile in 1906, neck dissections have evolved to include functional and minimally invasive techniques. Evidence-based medicine has allowed for the adoption of the selective neck dissection in a number of circumstances. Furthermore, as the primary disease becomes better understood and life expectancies increase, cosmetic outcomes have become an increasing concern in patient care. While this remains secondary to oncologic outcomes, reducing the morbidity of neck dissections has become of great interest. When the primary operative purpose is as a staging procedure, the minimally invasive approach is particularly desirable.
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