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Right Inferior View of the Styloid and Mastoid Processes

Surgical Correlation

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Right inferior horizontal view through styloid and mastoid processes and parotid gland. For orientation, the top of the image is anterior, the left border is lateral, the right border is medial, and the bottom border is posterior. The upper portion of the parotid gland is insinuated between the styloid and mastoid processes. On its deep surface, the facial nerve and stylomastoid artery are seen near the site of the stylomastoid foramen. Medial to this foramen is the jugular foramen transmitting the internal jugular vein and glossopharyngeal, vagus, and spinal accessory nerves. Just anteromedial to the vein is the internal carotid artery entering the carotid canal. The upper left portion of this image represents the space between the neck of the mandible and the external auditory canal leading into and out of the infratemporal fossa. Here, fibers of the auriculotemporal nerve course laterally before ascending the side of the head in company with the superficial temporal artery and vein. The maxillary veins drain blood from the pterygoid venous plexus and unite with the superficial temporal vein to form the retromandibular vein, which descends in the substance of the parotid gland. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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