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Test Taking Tips

  • Head and neck questions usually comprise 3 to 5 questions on the ABSITE.

  • Know that the treatment for benign parotid tumors is superficial parotidectomy and that the treatment for malignant parotid tumors is total parotidectomy.

  • Know the staging for squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. There is often a question about squamous cell cancer of the head and neck and the appropriate adjuvant treatment (with regard to the size of the primary tumor).


Order of thoracic outlet neurovascular structures (anterior to posterior):

  • Subclavian vein, phrenic nerve, anterior scalene muscle, subclavian artery, middle scalene muscle

What nerve runs posterior to the middle scalene muscle?

  • Long thoracic nerve

What nerve(s) runs in the posterior neck triangle?

  • Accessory nerve and the brachial plexus

Which muscles are innervated by the accessory nerve?

  • Sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, and platysma

Name the nerve that crosses the internal carotid artery 1 to 2 cm above the carotid bifurcation:

  • Hypoglossal nerve

The hypoglossal nerve supplies motor innervation to all of the muscles of the tongue except:

  • Palatoglossus

The phrenic nerve lies on top of what muscle?

  • Anterior scalene

Name the branches of the facial nerve:

  • Temporal, zygomatic, buccal, marginal mandibular, cervical branches

Which branch of the facial nerve is most often injured in carotid surgery?

  • Marginal mandibular nerve

Name the branches of the trigeminal nerve:

  • Ophthalmic (V1), maxillary (V2), mandibular (V3)

What nerve is found within the carotid sheath?

  • Vagus

The recurrent laryngeal nerve innervates all of the muscles of the larynx except:

  • Cricothyroid muscle

Which nerve is responsible for sensory innervation of the larynx above the level of the vocal folds?

  • Internal branch of the superior laryngeal nerve

Which nerve is responsible for sensory innervation of the larynx below the level of the vocal folds?

  • Recurrent laryngeal nerve

Name the branches of the thyrocervical trunk:

  • STAT: Suprascapular artery, Transverse cervical artery, Ascending cervical artery, and inferior Thyroid artery

What is the first branch of the external carotid artery?

  • Superior thyroid artery

Name the blood supply to the nose:

  • Anterior/posterior ethmoidal arteries off the ophthalmic artery

  • Superior labial artery from ...

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