Intra-abdominal component of vagus nerve and its surgical importance. [TU 2060]
Origin at Medulla, exits from Jugular foramen.
Descends vertically within the carotid sheath along with internal and common carotid arteries and internal jugular vein (IJV).
Neck branches - Superior laryngeal and recurrent laryngeal nerve.
Thoracic branches - Pulmonary plexus and cardiac plexus.
At lower end of esophagus - Esophageal plexus
The anterior and posterior gastric nerves are then formed from the esophageal plexus. The anterior gastric is formed mainly from the left vagus, but it does contain fibers from the right vagus.
Similarly, the posterior gastric nerve is formed mainly from the right vagus but contains fibers from the left vagus nerve.
The gastric nerves supply all abdominal organs and the gastrointestinal tract ending just before the left colonic (splenic) flexure (see the images below).