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Lateral Perspective of the Left Mandibular Region

Surgical Correlation


Lateral perspective of the left mandibular region. The sternocleidomastoid muscle has been retracted posteriorly. The masseter muscle covers the ramus to the angle of the mandible. The common carotid artery can be seen bifurcating into the internal and external carotid arteries. The facial artery courses deep to the posterior digastric muscle and submandibular gland before emerging onto the lower border of the mandible at the anterior edge of the masseter. It has a tortuous profile as it courses onto the face. The facial vein lies posterior to the artery and crosses superficial to the submandibular gland and carotid artery bifurcation to drain into the internal jugular vein. The superficial temporal artery is located anterior to the external auditory canal and divides over the temporalis fascia into frontal and parietal branches. It is accompanied by the superficial temporal vein and auriculotemporal nerve. The posterior digastric muscle runs anteroinferiorly from the digastric notch of the temporal bone to its intermediate tendon that attaches to the hyoid bone. This tendon is shared by the anterior digastric muscle belly, which attaches to the anterior mandible. The five terminal branches of the facial nerve (temporal, zygomatic, buccal, marginal mandibular, cervical) are visible coursing anteriorly superficial to the masseter muscle. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)