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Great Saphenous Vein
Cardiovascular System

Great Saphenous Vein

Vena saphena magna

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Quick Facts

Origin: Union of the dorsal venous arch of the foot and the dorsal veins of the great toe.

Course: Takes a long course from the foot to the proximal thigh to drain into the femoral vein.

Tributaries: Perforating, accessory saphenous, external pudendal, and posterior arch veins.

Drainage: Foot and leg.

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Origin

The great saphenous vein originates in the foot from the union of the dorsal venous arch of the foot and the dorsal veins of the great toe.

Course

The great saphenous vein is the longest vein in the body, as it travels superficially through the entire length of the lower limb. It ascends from the foot, anterior to the medial malleolus, and travels in an anteroposterior direction along the medial surface of the tibia to the knee joint. It runs posterior to the medial condyle of the femur and the medial border of the patella. From there it runs along the medial aspect of the superficial thigh to drain into the femoral vein, at the saphenous opening in the fascia latae.

Tributaries

Tributaries of the great saphenous vein include perforating veins from the deep veins of the lower limb, accessory saphenous, external pudendal, and the posterior arch veins. Additionally, the medial marginal, superficial epigastric, superficial circumflex iliac may drain into the great saphenous vein.

Structures Drained

The many tributaries of the great saphenous vein drain the foot, leg, thigh, inguinal region, and lower abdominal wall.

List of Clinical Correlates

-Varicose Veins

-Thrombophlebitis

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Great Saphenous Vein

ScienceDirect image

When the GSV is expected to serve as a graft for the bypass, the surgical incision should directly correspond to the vein itself to prevent excessive trauma and traction of the GSV and particularly devascularization of the skin, which could lead to necrosis of the surgical wound.

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