The patient is placed in semi-Fowler's position with the neck slightly extended and supported with a wadded towel on each side. A collar incision is made from one posterior edge of sternocleidomastoid to the other one fingerbreadth above the clavicle on either side. The line of incision is impressed on the skin using a silk ligature to ensure symmetry.
The inferior flap is dissected downward over the sternal notch using mostly careful sharp dissection. The lower flap may be sutured temporarily to the skin of the chest and the upper flap is held with a retractor. The strap muscles and anterior jugular veins are exposed anteriorly and the sternocleidomastoids laterally.
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