Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60--64

Marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve: An anatomical study

1 Department of Anatomy, SGRD Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Chakitsa Hospital, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Arvinder Pal Singh Batra
Department of Anatomy, SGRD Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar -143001, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.63968

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Smile is one of the most natural and important expressions of human emotion. Man uses his lips mainly to register his emotions. Thus, the slightest asymmetry or weakness around the lips and mouth may transform this pleasant expression into embarrassment and distortion. The circumoral musculature, the major part of which is supplied by the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve, is the main factor in this expression. Therefore, an injury to this nerve during a surgical procedure can distort the expression of the smile as well as other facial expressions. This nerve often gets injured by surgeons in operative procedures in the submandibular region, like excision of the submandibular gland due to lack of accurate knowledge of variations in the course, branches and relations. In the present study, 50 facial halves were dissected to study the origin, entire course, termination, branches, muscles supplied by it, its anastomoses with other branches of facial nerve on the same as well as on the opposite side and its relations with the surrounding structures. The marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve was found superficial to the facial artery and (anterior) facial vein in all the cases (100%). Thus the facial artery can be used as an important landmark in locating the marginal mandibular nerve during surgical procedures. Such a study can help in planning precise and accurate incisions and in preventing the unrecognized severance of this nerve during surgical procedures.


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