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View of Left Posterolateral Neck

Surgical Correlation

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View of left posterolateral neck. The zygomatic arch and most of the ramus of the mandible have been removed to expose the superficial aspect of the infratemporal fossa. Posterior to the ramus is the facial nerve and external carotid artery. Both are contained within the substance of the parotid gland, which has been removed. The superficial temporal artery, a terminal branch of the external carotid, crosses the root of the zygomatic arch to the lateral scalp region. Posterior to the condyle of the mandible is the external acoustic meatus. Inferior to this opening is the posterior digastric muscle whose intermediate tendon unites with the greater horn of the hyoid bone. Descending obliquely on the upper external surface of the internal jugular vein is the spinal accessory nerve. Posterior to the vein is the levator scapulae muscle. Cutaneous branches of the cervical plexus are also visible and include the transverse cervical nerve, great auricular nerve, and lesser occipital nerve. Attached to the skull posteriorly is splenius capitis muscle. Passing through this muscle, as well as the trapezius, near the midline is the occipital artery and the greater occipital nerve, the dorsal ramus of the C2 nerve. These supply the posterior scalp. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)

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