QS Study

In humans, the two parotid glands are present on either side of the mouth and in front of both ears. It is the largest salivary gland situated below the external acoustic meatus, between the ramus of the mandible and the sternomastoid. They are responsible for producing saliva to aid in chewing and digesting food. It can also help avert infections from developing in your mouth or throat.

Clinical Anatomy of Parotid Gland 1

Fig: Clinical Anatomy of the Parotid Gland

Clinical Anatomy of the Parotid Gland –

(1) Viral parotitis (mumps) characteristically does not suppurate. Its complications are orchitis and pancreatitis.

(2) A parotid abscess is best drained by horizontal incisions (Hilton’s method).

(3) A mixed parotid tumor is a slowly growing lobulated painless tumor without any involvement of the facial nerve. Malignant change of such a tumor is indicated by pain, rapid growth, fixity with hardness, an involvement of the facial nerve, and enlargement of cervical lymph nodes.

(4) Posterior to the gland is the mastoid process of the temporal bone and the sternocleidomastoid muscle and inferiorly the angular track of Eisler can be found.

On the medial side which is not covered by the capsule, the styloid process and the transverse process of the atlas are visible. The parotid gland and its surrounding structures can be subject to different pathologies such as nerve damages, infections, cysts, fistulae, and tumors.

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