OBJECTIVE: We sought to define the incidence of neuroma formation after neck dissection in a large series of patients. METHODS: One hundred fifty-three patients who were seen during a 2-year period (followed for 3 months to 10 years; mean, 52 months) were evaluated for neuroma formation after neck dissection (185 procedures). Cut nerve edges were not routinely ligated or cauterized. RESULTS: Operative records indicated that except for 4 cases, the stumps of the great auricular nerve and cervical branches were left intact after resection. No cases of palpable neuromas were found. In one case of a revised neck, a small macroscopically indiscernible nodule was histologically defined as neuroma. CONCLUSION: No neuromas were discovered in our series of neck dissection cases. If found, it is imperative these lesions be differentiated from recurrent cancer. Our results do not support any interference with cut nerve edges.
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