Structures in relation to the Parotid Gland
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.
Structures within the parotid gland with their relative positions. The parotid gland is a bilateral structure, which displays a lobular and irregular morphology. Anatomically, it can be divided into deep and superficial lobes, which are separated by the facial nerve. From medial to lateral –
External carotid artery: Enters the gland through its posteromedial surface.
The maxillary artery: Leaves the gland through its anteromedial surface.
Superficial temporal artery: Emerges through the superior surface.
Posterior auricular artery: Arise within the gland.
Transverse facial artery: Emerges through its anteromedial surface.
Fig: Structures in relation to the Parotid Gland
(2) Veins: Retromandibular vein is formed within the gland by the union of maxillary & superficial temporal veins.
(3) Nerves: Facial nerve enters the gland through its posteromedial surface and divides into its terminal branches within the gland. The branches leave the gland through its anteromedial surface.