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Section 4 – HEAD AND NECK

CHAPTER 25 – Head and neck: overview and surface anatomy

This chapter contains an overview of the topographical anatomy of the head and neck described in detail in Chapters 26–34 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33 Chapter 34, and an account of the clinically relevant surface anatomy.



The superficial fascia of the scalp is firm, dense and fibroadipose, and closely adherent to the skin and to the underlying muscle, epicranius, and the epicranial aponeurosis. Posteriorly, the fascia is continuous with the superficial fascia of the back of the neck, and laterally it is prolonged into the temporal region, where it is looser in texture. Three fascial layers (a subcutaneous fibroadipose tissue, a superficial musculo-aponeurotic system, SMAS, and the parotid–masseteric fascia), are recognized on the face superficial to the plane of the facial nerve and its branches. On the lateral side of the head, above the zygomatic arch, the temporo-parietal fascia lies in the same plane as, but does not blend with, the SMAS. It is superficial to the temporal fascia and blends superiorly with the epicranial aponeurosis. The parotid gland is surrounded by a fibrous capsule derived from the deep cervical fascia.

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