Author: Shahab Shahid MBBS•Reviewer: Uruj Zehra MBBS, MPhil, PhDLast reviewed: October 14, 2021Reading time: 8 minutes

Great saphenous vein (Vena saphena magna)

The great saphenous vein is the biggest vein that the human body. It is additionally known together the lengthy saphenous vein. The great saphenous vein starts native the medial marginal vein of foot, operation superficially along the length of the reduced limb, to ultimately empty right into the femoral vein.

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Just like the various other veins the the reduced limb, the great saphenous vein is qualified of return blood earlier to the heart versus gravity. There is a unique pumping mechanism and the presence of valves that ensure venous return. The venous system of the human body is split into a superficial and also deep system. The superficial device is clearly shows on the surface of ours skin, if a tourniquet is applied. This veins are commonly used come sample blood because that blood tests. The superficial veins drain into deep veins (which re-publishing the very same names together the arteries they run along). This deep veins return blood come the inferior and superior vena cava, and then come the right atrium the the heart.

In this article, we will talk about the anatomy and clinical relationship of the an excellent saphenous vein.

Key facts around the an excellent saphenous vein
OriginMedial marginal vein of foot
TributariesSmall saphenous, accessory saphenous, anterior femoral cutaneous, superficial epigastric, superficial circumflex iliac, superficial outside pudendal veins
Drains toFemoral vein


The great saphenous vein is a huge superficial vein that the lower limb. It drains right into the femoral vein, i beg your pardon is the medial many structure in the femoral triangle. The lateral border that the femoral triangle is developed by the medial border of sartorius, the medial border that the femoral triangle is developed by the medial border of adductor longus and also the inguinal ligament creates the base of the triangle. The suggest at which it drains right into the femoral vein is recognized as the saphenofemoral junction.


The good saphenous vein originates native the dorsal vein of the hallux, i m sorry merges v the dorsal venous arch the the foot. The vein then runs anterior come the medial malleolus (a relatively easy area to locate the vein). The vein ascends up the medial surface ar of the leg, and also then runs posterior to the medial epicondyle the the femur. It then runs upward in the thigh and also passes end the medial surface of the thigh. In the thigh it is attach by branches of the medial femoral cutaneous nerves , and at the knee, in the leg and the foot the vein is closely related come the saphenous artery (a branch the the to decrease genicular artery). The great saphenous vein climate passes through an opening in the fascia lata i.e. The saphenous opening. It continues together an arch to join the femoral vein within the medial region of the femoral triangle.

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The great saphenous vein is the medial most structure in the femoral triangle. Lateral come it, is a space that enables for growth of the vein throughout increases venous return. Positioned on the lateral side of the good saphenous vein is the femoral artery. The many lateral structure is the femoral nerve (posterior divisions of the anterior rami that spinal nerves L2-L4), which runs close come the anterior premium iliac spine, and also runs beneath the inguinal ligament. Over there are plenty of valves in this vein, the ensure blood operation in the exactly direction.

There is a valve extending the saphenofemoral junction (where the saphenous vein joins the femoral vein), and separates the superficial and deep venous system.

The great saphenous vein receives smaller veins from the ankle and foot. These incorporate the medial marginal vein (drains the single of the foot), the small saphenous vein (it has countless connections with its smaller counterpart in the lower an ar of the leg). In foot it is connected to short saphenous vein and also with deep veins v perforating veins. Close to knee that receives three large tributaries, in thigh that receives countless tributaries that are posteromedial i.e accessory saphenous vein, anterolateral i.e anterior femoral cutaneous vein and peri-inguinal which space superficial epigastric, superficial circumflex iliac and also superficial outside pudendal veins. It also receives connecting branches indigenous the popliteal vein via an additional perforator. Together the vein ascends in the thigh the receives branches indigenous the usual femoral vein.

Veins deserve to be an extremely tricky come identify. Why not begin practicing now by making your own structure identification flashcards? 


The great saphenous vein is a superficial vein that the lower limbIt drains the superficial structures of the medial thigh and also legIt drains into the common femoral vein at the saphenofemoral junctionIt receives blood from the small saphenous vein, medial marginal vein of the ankle, and named perforators indigenous the veins the the thigh and also knee regionIt is harvested for use in CABG proceduresThe popliteal vein connects come the an excellent saphenous vein via a perforating vein (of Boyd)Another perforating vein (of Dodd) connects the common femoral vein to the an excellent saphenous vein

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Clinical points

Coronary Artery Bypass graft (CABG)- Coronary artery condition is the greatest killer in the western world. It is a complication of hypertension, diabetes and also high cholesterol. The saphenous vein have the right to be gotten rid of from the leg, and also sutured into the love to bypass a blockage the the coronary arteries. This procedure is well-known as a heart bypass, and also the patient is put on cardiopulmonary bypass throughout the procedure.

Thrombophlebitis- This condition is characterised by the formation of a thrombus together with inflammation in the superficial veins and also involves an excellent saphenous vein in countless cases. Over there is a wide variety of predisposing determinants including prolonged immobilisation, trauma, malignancies like pancreatic cancer etc. Patients usually current with soft erythematous area overlying the superficial vein, a distended vein may be clearly shows proximal to the thrombus. The occurrence of connected deep venous thrombosis and also pulmonary embolism is variable.

Varicose veins- The great saphenous vein is a superficial vein. The deep veins (posterior tibial, anterior tibial, fibular, popliteal, femoral) are separated native the superficial veins by a series of valves. These valves ensure blood flows from the superficial mechanism to the deep device i.e. Stays clear of backflow. The incompetence of these valves results in varicose veins, which are engorged tortuous veins, that can be tender to the touch. Reasons include hereditary inheritance, pregnancy, chronic heart disease, obesity and an extensive standing.



Frank H.Netter MD: Atlas of person Anatomy, 5th Edition, Elsevier Saunders.Chummy S.Sinnatamby: Last’s Anatomy regional and Applied, 12th Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.Richard L. Drake, A. Wayne Vogl, Adam. W.M. Mitchell: Gray’s Anatomy because that Students, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.Litzendorf ME, Satiani B. Superficial venous thrombosis: an illness progression and also evolving treatment approaches. Vasc health Risk Manag. 2011; 7: 569–575.


Great saphenous vein (Vena saphena magna) - Begoña Rodriguez

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