Axillary Artery is divided into three parts based on its location to the Pectoralis Minor Muscle- which lies superficial to the artery. The parts are as follows.
First Part: This part of the artery is medial to Pectoralis Minor Muscle
Second Part: This part of artery lies posterior to Pectoralis Minor Muscle
Third Part: This part of artery lies lateral to the Pectoralis Minor Muscle
Axillary Artery has the company of Axillary Vein which runs medial to the length of this artery. Axillary Artery has several branches and arterial branch is named for its path not the origin. The branches are as follows.
(i) First Part (1 Branch)
Superior Thoracic Artery
(ii) Second Part (2 Branches)
Thoraco Acromial Artery
Lateral Thoracic Artery
(iii) Third Part (3 Branches)
Anterior Humeral Circumflex Artery
Posterior Humeral Circumflex Artery
The main function of Axillary Artery is to supply oxygenated blood to Thorax, Upper Limb and Axilla (Armpit). The blood is supplied when the three parts of the Axillary Artery work together.
Axillary Artery can be clamped without any harm to the arm but only if its position is proximal to the start of Subscapular Artery. It is also used as arterial cannulation (tube inserted in the body) site during Cardiac surgery for the repair of Aortic Dissection (tear in the inner wall of Aorta) and replacing the Ascending Aorta and Aortic Arch.