Adequacy of Surgery of Head and Neck Cancers


  • Tooba Ather Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan
  • Ghulam Haider Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan
  • Asra Taj Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan
  • Khalil Mehar Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan
  • Maliha Ashfaq Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan
  • Sana Sehar Department of Medical Oncology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi Pakistan



Adequate surgery, Adequate margins, Carcinomas, Head and neck cancers, Perineural invasion


Objective: To assess the proportion of adequate surgery in head and neck cancers.

Study Design: Prospective longitudinal study.

Place and Duration of Study: Medical Oncology Department, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Karachi Pakistan, from Jan to Dec 2020.

Methodology: One fifty-nine patients aged over 20-65 years, of either gender with a confirmed diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the Head and neck were included. Surgery was performed upfront in all patients without any preoperative/ induction chemotherapy. Data regarding socio-demographic and histopathology findings were noted. Surgery was labelled as inadequate when the number of resected lymph nodes recovered was less than 36, and the margins of the tumour were <5 mm (inadequate).

Results: Of 159 patients, the average age was 46.57±9.73 years. Less than 36 lymph nodes were recovered in 84 patients (52.8%) after neck dissection. A total of 64 patients had inadequate margins (40.3%), 77 had adequate margins (48.4%), and 18 had positive margins (11.3%) on histopathological examination. Overall, 56 patients had adequate surgery (35.2%), and 103 had inadequate surgery (64.7%).

Conclusion: More than half of the patients with Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma had inadequate surgery. Hence, inadequate surgery can lead to poor loco-regional disease control, increased chances of recurrence and overall poor prognosis.


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How to Cite

Ather T, Ghulam Haider, Asra Taj, Khalil Mehar, Ashfaq M, Sehar S. Adequacy of Surgery of Head and Neck Cancers. Pak Armed Forces Med J [Internet]. 2024 Apr. 29 [cited 2024 May 24];74(2):322-6. Available from:



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