To summarize and analyze the clinical diagnosis and surgical treatment of patients with tumors involving the root of neck. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 73 patients with tumors involving the root of neck in Peking University First Hospital Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery department. Data collected included clinical manifestations, preoperative imaging evaluation, surgical approach selection, postoperative pathological types, postoperative complications and prognosis. The most frequent symptom was a painless cervical mass(36 cases) and dysphagia(16 cases). All patients underwent preoperative enhanced CT scan or MRI, which would be helpful to evaluate the tumor size, shape, location, relationship with surrounding structures, especially important blood vessels, and secondary changes. The postoperative pathological diagnosis included 37 cases of benign and 36 cases of malignant. The most common benign tumor was retrosternal goiter in 17 cases, and the most common malignant tumor was cervical esophageal cancer in 15 cases. Nonsurgical treatment was performed in 3 cases ,while surgical treatment was performed in 70 cases, including 61 cases (87.1%) with cervical approach , 9 cases (12.9%) with combined cervicothoracic approach , 67 cases of complete tumor resection and 3 cases of palliative resection. Sixteen cases cooperated with thoracic surgerons, and 1 case with orthopedic surgerons. Surgical complications occurred in 16 cases (22.9%). Seven patients were lost to follow-up, and 66 patients were followed up for 3 months to 15 years. None of the 35 patients with benign tumors had recurrence, and among the 31 patients with malignant tumors, the 3-year survival rate was 48.4% and the 5-year survival rate was 32.3%. Tumors involving the root of neck are challenging to diagnose and treat due to the complex regional anatomy and a variety of pathological types, with comparable proportion of benign and malignant tumors. Surgery is the first choice, but it requires careful preoperative assessment. Surgical approaches include cervical approach and combined cervicothoracic approach, which should be determined according to the pathology, size and surrounding structure of the tumor, as well as the habits of the surgeon. Most benign tumors can be excised by the cervical approach. The combined cervicothoracic approach is suitable for malignant tumors with unclear boundaries and close adhesion of important blood vessels and nerves. Proper treatment of large vessels is the key to complete resection of tumors. There are many complications in the operation of this site, so it is necessary to fully communicate with the patient before operation, and sometimes multidisciplinary cooperation is needed.
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