Tumors of the Parotid
Parotid gland surgery is interesting because the facial nerve traverses through its substance. The entire procedure revolves around removing the tumor while preserving branches of the facial nerve. Figure 4.1 shows the schematic anatomy of the facial nerve. The nerve comes out of the stylomastoid tunnel and enters the gland. It can be identified anterior to posterior most fibers of digastric muscle that is inserted on mastoid. Identification of the tragal pointer and digastric tendon serves as a guide to facial nerve. The nerve divides into two main trunks which further divide into five branches. These branches run through the gland and become more and more superficial in the periphery. The terminal parts of the branches run deep to the buccinator muscle in the subcutaneous plane. The eye branch and angle of mouth branch are most important in terms of functions.