JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The premasseteric branch of facial artery: its importance for craniofacial surgery.

AIM: The masseter muscle is often exploited by craniofacial surgeons in transposition operations to correct facial palsy, benign masseteric hypertrophy; or neurectomy-induced atrophy of the muscle. A clear understanding of the course of the premasseteric branch of the facial artery and its relations with adjacent structures is essential in maneuvering the masseter muscle safely. In the present study the premasseteric branch was analyzed in details.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Neurovascular and anatomical features and relations of the premasseteric branch and its branches were evaluated according to location, origin, diameter, length and course by bilateral meticulous anatomic micro dissection under 4x loop magnification in formalin fixed 14 adult preserved cadavers.

RESULTS: The premasseteric branch originated separately from the facial artery in all cases. The course of the branch was observed to the upper anterior border of the masseter muscle. The diameter of the premasseteric branch was 1.12 mm (mean) at the level of origin. The diameter of the premasseteric branch was larger than the facial artery in 3% of cases. The location of the branch was defined according to body of the mandible. Branches and anastomoses of the premasseteric branch were also represented.

CONCLUSION: Anatomical data of the premasseteric branch will help craniofacial surgeons elevate flaps safely.

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