The retromandibular vein (temporomaxillary vein, posterior facial vein), formed by the union of the superficial temporal and maxillary veins, descends in the substance of the parotid gland, superficial to the external carotid artery but beneath the facial nerve, between the ramus of the mandible and the sternocleidomastoideus muscle.
It divides into two branches:
This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).
- an anterior, which passes forward and joins anterior facial vein, to form the common facial vein, which then drains into the internal jugular vein.
- a posterior, which is joined by the posterior auricular vein and becomes the external jugular vein.