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Open the axillary sheath and identify the axillary vein and artery, as well as cords and terminal branches of the brachial plexus (Figure 5.3). Since the axillary vein is located superficial to the artery, it may be necessary to remove the axillary vein and its tributaries [the cut end of the axillary vein is identified in the image illustrating the dissected brachial plexus], to better observe the structures that lie deep to it. Identify the axillary artery . It is surrounded by the nerve components of the brachial plexus.Next, identify the three cords of the brachial plexus: lateral cord, medial cord, and posterior cord. They are named for their relationship to the axillary artery.
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