The facial artery is one of the branches of the external carotid artery and supplies blood to the structures of the face.
- origin: branch of the external carotid artery a little above the level of the lingual artery, in the carotid triangle of the neck
- course: passes deep to the posterior belly of the digastric muscle, the stylohyoid muscle and the submandibular gland; it then continues its tortuous course over the inferior border of the mandible towards the nasolabial fold
- termination: anterior face as angular artery (terminal branch) at the medial canthus of the eye
The facial artery may arise from a common trunk with the lingual artery, the linguofacial trunk.
History and etymology
The facial artery was previously known as the external maxillary artery, e.g. old editions of Gray's anatomy . This was in contradistinction to the internal maxillary artery which is now known simply as the maxillary artery.