Background and Aim: Obturator artery (OA) originates from the anterior division of the internal iliac artery (IIA) and gives various branches to the pelvic cavity, medial compartment of the thigh, and hip joint. Studies in literature illustrate variable origin from the posterior division of the IIA, external iliac artery (EIA), or the branches of both the IIA and EIA. Understanding the pelvic vascular anatomy pertaining to the OA is crucial in averting the risk of its injury in pelvic surgeries. Present study reports on the variant anatomy of the origin of the OA in the Indian population.
Materials and Methods: The study included 61 specimens from 25 formalin-embalmed cadavers (male-19, female-6) and 11 hemipelvis (male-9, female-2) utilized for undergraduate teaching in the Department of Anatomy. After dissecting the peritoneum and mobilizing the pelvic organs, the origin of OA was examined for variations.
Result: The OA originated from the IIA in 83.61%. It was a branch from the anterior division of the IIA in 65.58% and the posterior division in 18.03%. OA was also given off at the site of the bifurcation of IIA into anterior and posterior divisions in 3.28%, from EIA in 4.92%, from an inferior epigastric artery (IEA) in 8.2%, and from the inferior gluteal artery and umbilical artery in 1.64% each.
Conclusion: This study recognizes the variant anatomy of the origin of the OA. Anticipating these variations will be valuable in pelvic surgeries and laparoscopic procedures such as herniorrhaphy to avoid any untoward traumatic haemorrhage.
Obturator artery, Internal iliac artery, External iliac artery.