Medicine

The sciatic or ischiatic artery, [a. ischiadica], the largest branch of the internal iliac artery, excepting the gluteal, is distributed to the muscles on the back of the pelvis.

The anastomosis which exists between the obturator artery (when that vessel is derived from the internal iliac) and the epigastric, by means of those small branches of each which ramify behind the pubes, serves to afford some explanation of one of the most striking instances of variety of origin met with in the arterial system, viz., the transfer of the origin of the obturator from the internal iliac to the epigastric artery.

Before escaping from the pelvis, the pudic artery occasionally gives small and irregular branches to the muscles and to the sacral nerves : and, besides its two terminal branches, it furnishes several named branches in the perineum.

The obturator artery [a.obturatoria], when derived from the internal iliac, usually arises from the anterior division of that vessel, but not infrequently from its posterior division. The artery is directed forwards through the pelvis to reach the groove on the under surface of the horizontal portion of the pubes, at the upper part of the thyroid foramen. Beneath this bone it passes out of the pelvis, and immediately divides into its terminal branches. In its course through the pelvis the artery is placed between the pelvic fascia and the peritoneum, a little below the obturator nerve. Beneath the pubes it lies with the nerve in an oblique canal, formed partly by the groove in the bone, and partly by fibrous tissue.

The pudic or internal pudic artery (pudica interna; pudica communis,— Winslow ; pudenda (simpliciter),— Haller), a branch of considerable size (smaller in the female than in the male), is distributed to the external generative organs. The following description of this artery has reference to its arrangement in the male;— its distribution in the female will be noticed separately.

The vagina principally derives its arteries from a branch which is analogous to the inferior vesical in the male.

Changes in its place of origin have already been noticed. The artery itself is sometimes small, or defective in one or two, or but rarely three of its usual branches.

The uterine artery [a. uterina], is directed downwards from the anterior division of the internal iliac artery towards the neck of the uterus.

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