Retromandibular Vein

The retromandibular vein (posterior facial vein) is formed in the upper portion of the parotid gland, deep to the neck of the mandible, by the confluence of the superficial temporal vein and the maxillary vein. Descending just posterior to the ramus of the mandible through the parotid gland, or folded into its deep aspect, the vein is lateral to the external carotid artery (see Fig. 10-3). Both vessels are crossed by the facial nerve. Near the apex of the parotid gland, the retromandibular vein gives off an anteriorly descending communication that joins the facial vein just below the angle of the mandible. The retromandibular vein then inclines backward and unites with the posterior auricular vein to form the external jugular vein.

Branches Extracranial Facial Nerve
Figure 10- 1 Branching of the extracranial portion of the facial nerve. Only the main branches are shown. Many smaller branches occur in most individuals (see Figure 10-2).
Figure 10-2. Anatomic dissection reveals an extensive branching pattern of the facial nerve (the parotid gland was removed)
Retromandibular Vein Parotid Gland
Figure10-3 Anatomic dissection showing the relationship of the retromandibular vein (RV) , and inferior (+) and superior divisions (*) of the VII to the mandible. Note the space between the inferior and superior divisions of VII, through which the posterior border of the mandible can be approached

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