Common facial vein

The common facial vein is formed by the joining of the facial vein and anterior branch of the retromandibular vein. It is part of the venous drainage system of the face.

  • origin and termination: the facial vein (along with the facial artery) pierces the deep investing fascia of the neck just below the border of the mandible where it unites with the anterior branch of the retromandibular vein to form the common facial vein, which empties into the internal jugular vein 1,2
  • tributaries: from near its termination, a communicating branch often runs down the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle to join the lower part of the anterior jugular vein 1

The facial vein (along with the facial artery) pierces the deep investing fascia of the neck just below the border of the mandible where it unites with the anterior branch of the retromandibular vein to form the common facial vein, which empties into the internal jugular vein 1,2,3.

The common facial vein crosses the external carotid artery and enters the internal jugular vein at a variable point below the hyoid bone 1. From near its termination, a communicating branch often runs down the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle to join the lower part of the anterior jugular vein 1.

The common facial vein crosses the external carotid artery and enters the internal jugular vein at a variable point below the hyoid bone1.

Many variations in the anatomy of the common facial vein have been described, including the unusual drainage of the common facial veins into the subclavian and the external jugular veins bilaterally, along with an undivided retromandibular vein continuing as the external jugular vein and the anterior facial vein opening into the internal jugular vein 4.

Head and neck anatomy
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Article information

rID: 54516
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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