Great saphenous vein

The great saphenous vein and landmarks along its course
Superficial veins draining into the great saphenous and femoral vein.
Superficial veins of lower limb. Superficial dissection. Anterior view.
Great saphenous vein. Deep dissection. Anterior view.
Illustration depicting veins of the leg including great saphenous vein (anterior view).

Large, subcutaneous, superficial vein of the leg.

- Great saphenous vein
The great saphenous vein and landmarks along its course

18 related topics

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Small saphenous vein and its tributaries. (Small saphenous vein labeled vertically at center.)

Small saphenous vein

Relatively large superficial vein of the posterior leg.

Relatively large superficial vein of the posterior leg.

Small saphenous vein and its tributaries. (Small saphenous vein labeled vertically at center.)
Cross-section through middle of leg
Nerves of the dorsum of the foot

The origin of the small saphenous vein, (SSV) is where the dorsal vein from the fifth digit (smallest toe) merges with the dorsal venous arch of the foot, which attaches to the great saphenous vein (GSV).

Superficial veins become more prominent when muscles are flexed

Superficial vein

Vein that is close to the surface of the body.

Vein that is close to the surface of the body.

Superficial veins become more prominent when muscles are flexed

great saphenous vein – often "harvested" for coronary artery bypass surgery

Left leg of a male affected by varicose veins

Varicose veins

Varicose veins, also known as varicoses, are a medical condition in which superficial veins become enlarged and twisted.

Varicose veins, also known as varicoses, are a medical condition in which superficial veins become enlarged and twisted.

Left leg of a male affected by varicose veins
How a varicose vein forms in a leg. Figure A shows a normal vein with a working valve and normal blood flow. Figure B shows a varicose vein with a deformed valve, abnormal blood flow, and thin, stretched walls. The middle image shows where varicose veins might appear in a leg.
Comparison of healthy and varicose veins

Stripping consists of removal of all or part the saphenous vein (great/long or lesser/short) main trunk.

Lateral aspect of right leg

Human leg

Entire lower limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region.

Entire lower limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region.

Lateral aspect of right leg
Comparison between human and gorilla skeletons. (Gorilla in non-natural stretched posture.)
Bones of the leg
Muscles of the hip
Hip adductors
Anterior muscles
Veins of the leg
Mountaineers have heightened risk for serious leg injuries. This is generally due to the lack of medical help in mountainous areas, as well as movement impairment restricting access to other medical services.
Surface anatomy of human leg
Muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions
Small saphenous vein and its tributaries
The popliteal, posterior tibial, and peroneal arteries
Nerves of the right lower extremity, posterior view
Leg bones

Great saphenous vein

The main veins in the human body

Vein

Veins are blood vessels in humans, and most other animals that carry blood towards the heart.

Veins are blood vessels in humans, and most other animals that carry blood towards the heart.

The main veins in the human body
Branches of inferior vena cava
Video of venous valve in action
Venous valves prevent reverse blood flow.
Human anatomical chart of blood vessels, with heart, lungs, liver and kidneys included. Other organs are numbered and arranged around it. Before cutting out the figures on this page, Vesalius suggests that readers glue the page onto parchment and gives instructions on how to assemble the pieces and paste the multilayered figure onto a base "muscle man" illustration. "Epitome", fol.14a. HMD Collection, WZ 240 V575dhZ 1543.
Image of veins from William Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus

The great saphenous vein is the most important superficial vein of the lower limb.

Front and medial aspect of a male right thigh

Thigh

Area between the hip and the knee.

Area between the hip and the knee.

Front and medial aspect of a male right thigh
Front of thigh muscles from Gray's Anatomy of the human body from 1918.
Back thigh muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions from Gray's Anatomy of the human body from 1918.
Cross-section through the middle of the thigh.
Also showing major blood vessels and nerves.
Cross-section through the middle of the thigh.
The Obturator externus

The venae perfortantes connect the deep and the superficial system, which consists of the saphenous veins (the site of varicose veins).

The great saphenous vein and its tributaries.

Dorsal venous arch of the foot

The great saphenous vein and its tributaries.
Dorsum of Foot. Ankle joint. Deep dissection
Dorsum of Foot. Ankle joint. Deep dissection.

The dorsal venous arch of the foot is a superficial vein that connects the small saphenous vein and the great saphenous vein.

The great saphenous vein and its tributaries at the saphenous opening

Cribriform fascia

Portion of fascia covering the saphenous opening in the thigh.

Portion of fascia covering the saphenous opening in the thigh.

The great saphenous vein and its tributaries at the saphenous opening

It is perforated by the great saphenous vein and by numerous blood and lymphatic vessels.

The fossa ovalis.

Saphenous opening

Oval opening in the upper mid part of the fascia lata of the thigh.

Oval opening in the upper mid part of the fascia lata of the thigh.

The fossa ovalis.
The great saphenous vein and its tributaries at the fossa ovalis.
Superficial veins of lower limb Superficial dissection. Anterior view.

It is covered by a thin perforated part of the superficial fascia called the fascia cribrosa which is pierced by the great saphenous vein, the 3 superficial branches of the femoral artery(except superficial circumflex iliac artery, which pierces fascia lata lateral to the saphenous opening), and lymphatics.

Early in a coronary artery bypass operation, during vein harvesting from the legs (left of image) and the establishment of cardiopulmonary bypass by placement of an aortic cannula (bottom of image). The perfusionist and heart-lung machine are on the upper right. The patient's head (not seen) is at the bottom.

Coronary artery bypass surgery

Surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.

Surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.

Early in a coronary artery bypass operation, during vein harvesting from the legs (left of image) and the establishment of cardiopulmonary bypass by placement of an aortic cannula (bottom of image). The perfusionist and heart-lung machine are on the upper right. The patient's head (not seen) is at the bottom.
René Gerónimo Favaloro was an Argentine cardiac surgeon and educator best known for his pioneering work on coronary artery bypass surgery using the great saphenous vein.
Three coronary artery bypass grafts, a LIMA to LAD and two saphenous vein grafts – one to the right coronary artery system and one to the obtuse marginal system.
Illustration depicting single, double, triple, and quadruple bypass
Illustration of a typical coronary artery bypass surgery. A vein from the leg is removed and grafted to the coronary artery to bypass a blockage.
Coronary artery bypass surgery during mobilization (freeing) of the right coronary artery from its surrounding tissue, adipose tissue (yellow). The tube visible at the bottom is the aortic cannula (returns blood from the HLM). The tube above it (obscured by the surgeon on the right) is the venous cannula (receives blood from the body). The patient's heart is stopped and the aorta is cross-clamped. The patient's head (not seen) is at the bottom.
Heart bypass patient showing almost invisible residual scarring. Left: days after operation. Middle: chest scar, two years later. Right: leg scar from harvested vein, two years later.
Illustration depicting coronary artery bypass surgery (double bypass)
Illustration of Single bypass
Illustration of Double bypass
Illustration of Triple bypass
Illustration of Quadruple bypass

In the other, a great saphenous vein is removed from a leg; one end is attached to the aorta or one of its major branches, and the other end is attached to the obstructed artery immediately after the obstruction to restore blood flow.