Indications and outcomes for elective dissection of level V in primary parotid cancer

Andrew P. Katz, Riley Larkin, Erin R. Cohen, Elizabeth Franzmann, Donald Weed, Francisco Civantos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The extent of cervical lymphadenectomy required for primary parotid cancer is not well-established. Methods: In this retrospective case–control study, 84 patients who underwent primary parotidectomy and neck dissection for primary parotid cancer between 2010 and 2019 were identified and analyzed. Results: Of the 84 patients, 37 underwent elective level V neck dissection. All six (16.0%) who had occult level V nodes had clinically evident, preoperative anterior cervical metastases, a statistically significant finding. No other clinical factors are correlated with posterior neck involvement. There was no significant difference in disease-free or overall survival for patients with occult level V disease relative to positive lymph nodes in other levels. Conclusions: Patients with clinically evident anterolateral cervical lymphatic metastases from parotid cancer preoperatively have high rates of occult level V nodes. Level V neck dissection can be avoided in cN0 patients and offered no survival advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • head and neck cancer
  • neck dissection
  • parotid
  • salivary gland cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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