We have a very major branch coming up to supply
the head and neck called the common carotid.
And it bifurcates into an internal and external parotid
right at the area that we have something called the carotid sinus
and it's this widened area right as it's becoming the internal carotid
and it's an important landmark because this is an important baroreceptor in the body.
Baro meaning pressure.
And so it's an important spot for sensing the overall blood pressure so that the body can regulate it.
The internal carotid is going to continue upwards without
branching until it gets into the cranial cavity,
but the external carotid on the other hand is going to give
rise to many important branches for the head and neck.
That includes the superior thyroid artery, the lingual artery (lingual meaning tongue),
facial artery which goes over the surface of the face,
the occipital which goes to the occipital area,
posterior auricular (auricular means ears so it's going behind the ear),
superficial temporal supplying the temporal area superficially,
and the small ascending pharyngeal which goes into the pharynx.
There's also a branch called the maxillary artery right
as it's branching also into the superficial temporal
that has some important branches of its own.
One goes up into the cranial cavity called the middle meningeal artery
and as the name implies it's an important artery that supplies the meninges that cover the brain.
This is where we also have the inferior alveolar artery.
When we mention that term means the lower teeth.
We also have the buccal artery and we've seen that term
before and we know that means the area of the cheek.
So now a little bit about the venous
drainage of the head and neck and to do so,
we also have to go back to the parotid gland because much like the facial nerve,
the major venous drainage is going through this parotid gland.
It's so big that it actually encases
a lot of important structures.
And that also makes it very important to keep in mind
when you're doing a parotid surgery because not only do we have the facial nerve,
but we have a very important vein in this area
called the retromandibular vein or the vein that sits behind the mandible.
And it's draining the superficial temporal and maxillary
veins, draining a large amount of blood from the head.
But then it has these anterior
and posterior divisions.
Posteriorly, it's going to pick up the posterior auricular
vein and then drain into the external jugular vein
and then anteriorly its anterior division is going to join with the facial vein
to form something called a common facial vein and therefore drain into the internal jugular.
And that's an important landmark not just
because it's in the area of the parotid gland
and because parotid surgeries are very common but
also because it's helping to drain via 2 major veins,
the internal and external jugular veins pretty much
the majority of the blood in our head and neck area.