GREAT SAPHENOUS VEIN (long saphenous vein)

 

ORIGIN: Dorsal venous arch

COURSE/DRAINAGE: This largest superficial vein of the lower extremity begins as a continuation of the medial marginal vein of the dorsal venous arch. It ascends in front of the medial malleolus, a landmark which is so constant as to be used for venous cut down. The veins now ascend in front of the leg on shin to gain access to the medial aspect of the knee. It runs in front of the thigh and passes upwards and obliquely to the medial aspect to enter the saphenous opening where it pierces the deep fascia to called the cribriform fascia to enter the femoral triangle and reach the femoral vein at the saphenous opening just medial to the femoral artery. As it ascends in the thigh, it is accompanied by saphenous nerve in the leg, descending genicular artery at the knee and branches of the medial femoral cutaneous nerve at the thigh.

TRIBUTARIES:

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Deep veins of the leg through perforating veins (e.g. posterior crural arch vein

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Small saphenous vein communicating tributary

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Tibial tubercle perforator (Boyd’s perforator)

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Hunterian perforator

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Posteromedian vein of the thigh (accessory saphenous vein)

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Anterolateral vein of thigh (anterior femoral cutaneous vein)

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Thoraco-epigastric vein (vein that becomes distended as a result of inferior vena caval blockage - inguino-axillary vein).

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Superficial external pudendal vein

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Superficial epigastric vein

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Superficial circumflex iliac vein

 

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