Variation in the Origination of the Right Obturator




Fisher, Cara
Narayanan, Neeraja
Vu, Katie


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Background: Knowing the anatomical location and origins of pelvic vasculature in the human body is imperative while performing laparoscopic procedures to mitigate hemorrhages. The obturator artery is well known for having variations in its course and origin. The obturator artery is a branch of the internal iliac artery in 79% of humans and travels alongside the obturator nerve through the obturator canal to supply the adductor muscles in the medial compartment of the thigh. The likelihood of the obturator artery branching off from the external iliac artery is 19%. Case Information: During pelvic dissections, our cadaver (60 year old Caucasian male) presented with a tortuous obturator artery branching from the external iliac artery in the right lateral pelvic region. The right obturator artery branches at 10.2 cm from the junction of right the external iliac artery from the right common iliac artery. The variant artery then proceeded to travel through the obturator foramen alongside the obturator nerve. Conclusion: In majority of humans, the obturator artery branches from the internal iliac artery, but studies have shown that the obturator artery can also arise from the external iliac artery or the inferior epigastric artery. Surgeons and radiologists should be aware of such anomalies while performing pelvic surgery or interpreting angiographies. While it appears most individuals with obturator artery variation are asymptomatic, further studies would need to be conducted to determine other implications. This report aims to spread awareness of the possibility of such vasculature variations amongst future health-care professionals and anatomists.