Remove the buccal fat pad and the pterygoid plexus of veins,
with blunt dissection, to expose the contents of the infratemporal fossa.
(920/N36), coursing between the
(923/N14 - the ligament is an embryonic remnant of the first branchial
arch skeleton which did not ossify) and the mandible, and crossing the superficial
surface of the
lateral pterygoid muscle
(920/N36). It is usually embedded
in tough fascia. About half of infratemporal fossae will feature the artery
deep to the lateral pterygoid muscle, and, if so, its dissection must be
delayed until after the latter muscle has been removed. When the maxillary
artery courses deep to the lateral pterygoid a Y-shaped artery is evident
on the surface of the lateral pterygoid which branches into the inferior
alveolar and temporal arteries.
There are small branches of the artery to the muscles of
mastication, the middle ear and the lower teeth. Removal of the fascia from
the main trunk usually removes many of these branches.