Anatomic Danger Zones of the Head and Neck

Guy Talmor, Andy Trang, Omeed Ahadiat, Boris Paskhover, Ashley Wysong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUNDDermatologic procedures require a detailed understanding of surface anatomy to avoid complications. The head and neck region has prominent danger zones including nerves and vasculature that may be at risk during cutaneous surgery. A thorough understanding of these danger zones can help avoid complications that may lead to functional or cosmetic impairment.METHODSThe anatomic literature regarding the course of high-risk structures of the head and neck was reviewed. Structures deemed at risk during dermatologic procedures were included in the analysis. The final analysis focused on branches of the facial nerve, parotid duct, spinal accessory nerve, trigeminal nerve, and the lacrimal system. Anatomical information was compiled regarding each high-risk structure to develop a "danger zone" at which each respective structure is at risk.RESULTSThe danger zone for each structure was compiled based on the review of the literature and depicted in the figures.CONCLUSIONWith careful attention to anatomy and the meticulous surgical technique, there is great potential for reduction in surgical injury to danger zones of the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1559
Number of pages11
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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