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Facial lymph nodes

Recommended video: Introduction to the lymphatic system [14:10]
Overview of the anatomy, function and main structures of the lymphatic system.

The facial lymph nodes are a variably present group of subcutaneous lymph nodes which form an intercalated chain along the facial vein.

They may be composed of up to four groups of nodes: 

  • nasolabial lymph nodes, located in a groove between the ala (wing) of the nose and lip known as the nasolabial sulcus; it receives lymph drained from the nose and medial half of the eyelid
  • a malar (a.k.a. zygomatic) lymph node, located above the zygomatic bone, close to the lateral angle of the eye; it drains lymph from the eyelids
  • bucinator lymph nodes are located on the cheeks, between the angle of the mouth and the ear lobe
  • mandibular lymph nodes may be located along the anterior border of, or superficial to, themasseter muscle, overlying the mandible; it and the buccinator lymph nodes may receive lymph drained from all over the facial region. 

Efferent vessels of the facial lymph nodes largely drain to the submandibular and/or preauricular lymph nodes.

Terminology English: Facial lymph nodes
Latin: Nodi lymphoidei faciales
Components/groups Nasolabial lymph nodes (nll. nasolabiales)
Malar/zygomatic lymph node (nl. malaris/zygomaticus)
Bucinator lymph nodes (nll. bucinatorii)
Mandibular lymph nodes (nll. mandibularis)

Learn more about the lymphatic drainage of the head and neck in the following study unit.

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