Parotid Gland

Parotid Gland

Imp features

Largest salivary gland.

Situated between ESR– external acoustic meatus, ramus of mandible & sternocleidomastoid.


Formed by investing layer of deep cervical fascia, which splits to enclose the gland.

Capsule – Superficial and Deep Lamina

  • Thick Thin
  • Adherent to gland. 
  • Attached to styloid process, Zygomatic arch, tympanic plate.

External features

  • Resembles an inverted 3 sided pyramid.

Has 4 surfaces – superior, superficial, anteromedial and posteromedial.

Has 3 borders – anterior, posterior, medial.



Structures within the gland –


External carotid A. enters the gland and maxillary artery leaves the gland.


Within the gland-

Superficial temporal vein.

Retromandibular vein.

Maxillary vein


The Facial Nerve

The Facial Nerve gives its terminal branches within the gland.

It divides into 2 branches

1.Temporofacial– Temporal

                              – Zygomatic

2.Cervicofacial – buccal

                         – marginal

                         – mandibular

                         – cervical

These branches radiate as goose foot from the anterior border of the gland.

Mnemonic –

To Zanzibar by motor car

T – Temporal

Z-   Zygomatic

B – buccal

M – mandibular & marginal

C – Cervical


Parotid duct

Also called Stenson’s duct

5 cm long

Opens into the vestibule of mouth opposite to the crown of upper 2nd molar tooth.


Blood supply

Arterial supply – external carotid artery and it’s branches.

Venous drainage- veins drain into external & internal jugular veins.



Lymphatic drainage

Lymph – Parotid nodes –upper deep cervical nodes

Nerve Supply


IT has Lesser Options Anywhere.

I – inferior salivatory nucleus

T – Tympanic branch of 9th nerve

Lesser –lesser petrosal nerve

O – otic ganglion

A – auriculotemporal nerve.

Interesting fact

The facial nerve lies in the parotid gland and divides into branches but does not innervate the parotid gland!

Important Clinical anatomy-

After removal of parotid gland, there is regeneration of secretomotor fibres in auriculotemporal nerve , causing stimulation of salivary glands & hyperemia, producing redness & swelling – Frey’s Syndrome.

The parotid gland is removed in 2 parts to preserve facial nerve.

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