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Femoral Vein
Cardiovascular System

Femoral Vein

Vena femoralis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Continuation of the popliteal vein.

Course: Ascends posterolateral to the femoral artery and continues as the external iliac vein.

Tributaries: Deep femoral, long saphenous, lateral and medial circumflex femoral, superficial epigastric, and perforating veins.

Drainage: Lower limb.

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The femoral vein originates as a continuation of the popliteal vein, after it passes through the adductor hiatus.


The femoral vein ascends in the thigh. It runs with the femoral artery and nerve in the femoral sheath. The femoral vein continues proximally, passing deep to the inguinal ligament, where it becomes the external iliac vein.


The deep femoral vein joins the femoral vein 3 cm distal to the inguinal ligament (Standring, 2016). The great saphenous vein joins the femoral vein at the saphenous opening. The lateral and medial circumflex femoral veins join the femoral vein or the deep femoral vein. Additionally, the femoral vein receives perforating veins from the great saphenous vein, thus connecting the superficial venous system of the lower limb with the deep venous system.

Structures Drained

The femoral vein drains the lower limb.


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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Femoral Vein

ScienceDirect image

The circumflex femoral vein is a large vessel that crosses the proximal deep femoral artery just distal to the common femoral artery bifurcation.

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