Anatomical StudiesAnatomical Study of the Posterior Auricular Branch of the Facial Nerve Application to Parotid SurgeryKikuta, Shogo DDS, PhD*,†; Iwanaga, Joe DDS, PhD*,†,‡; Watanabe, Koichi MD, PhD‡; Kusukawa, Jingo DDS, PhD†; Tubbs, R. Shane PA-C, PhD*,§Author Information *Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, WA †Dental and Oral Medical Center ‡Division of Gross and Clinical Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan §Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. George's University, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Joe Iwanaga, DDS, PhD, Seattle Science Foundation, 550 17th Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98122; E-mail: email@example.com Received 3 April, 2019 Accepted 1 July, 2019 The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January/February 2020 - Volume 31 - Issue 1 - p 300-302 doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005883 Buy Metrics Abstract The posterior auricular nerve (PAN) is the first branch of the facial nerve after it leaves the stylomastoid foramen. The literature describing the anatomy of the PAN is very sparse. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to clarify the detailed anatomical features of the PAN and consider its clinical and surgical applications. The authors examined 10 sides from 6 fresh frozen adult cadaveric Caucasian heads. The PAN was observed as the first branch of the facial nerve in all specimens. During the dissection of the PAN, the posterior auricular artery was constantly near the PAN. Moreover, the PAN was located under the investing layer of deep cervical facia covering the sternocleidomastoid and mastoid process in all specimens. The diameter of the PAN was 0.82 ± 0.21 mm (range from 0.55 to 1.21). The distance from the stylomastoid foramen to where the PAN branched from the facial nerve was 0.40 ± 1.25 mm (range from 0 to 4.35). The distance from the location of this branching point of the PAN to the entering point of the PAN to any muscles was 28.03 ± 5.51 mm (range from 19.71 to 38.75). Understanding the anatomical features of the PAN is essential for performing surgical procedures in this region. © 2020 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.