Great saphenous vein
|Vein: Great saphenous vein|
|The great saphenous vein and landmarks along its course|
|The great saphenous vein and its tributaries at the fossa ovalis in the groin.|
|Latin||vena saphena magna|
|Gray's||subject #173 669|
|Source||dorsal venous arch of the foot, and others|
|Drains to||femoral vein|
The terms "safaina" (Greek, meaning "manifest," "to be clearly seen") and "el safin" (Arabic, meaning "hidden/concealed") have both been claimed as the origin for the word "saphenous."
At the ankle it receives branches from the sole of the foot through the medial marginal vein; in the lower leg it anastomoses freely with the small saphenous vein, communicates by perforator veins (Cockett perforators) with the anterior and posterior tibial veins and receives many cutaneous veins; near the knee it comunicates with the femoral vein by the Boyd perforator, in the thigh it communicates with the femoral vein by perforator veins (Dodd perforator) and receives numerous tributaries; those from the medial and posterior parts of the thigh frequently unite to form a large accessory saphenous vein which joins the main vein near the sapheno-femoral junction.
The thoracoepigastric vein runs along the lateral aspect of the trunk between the superficial epigastric vein below and the lateral thoracic vein above and establishes an important communication between the femoral vein and the axillary vein .
Use in cardiovascular procedures 
The vein is often removed by vascular surgeons and used for autotransplantation in coronary artery bypass operations, when arterial grafts are not available or many grafts are required, such as in a triple bypass or quadruple bypass.
The great saphenous vein is the conduit of choice for vascular surgeons, when available, for doing peripheral arterial bypass operations [ see vascular bypass ] because it has superior long-term patency compared to synthetic grafts (PTFE, PETE (Dacron)), human umbilical vein grafts or biosynthetic grafts [Omniflow]. Often, it is used in situ (in place), after tying off smaller tributaries and stripping the valves with a device called LeMaitre's valvulotome.
Use in emergency medicine 
Pathology of the saphenous vein 
- Varicose veins: The great saphenous vein, like other superficial veins, can develop varices, which are generally considered to be unsightly. Various treatment options exist for treating varicose veins. Varicose veins are not life threatening.
- Thrombophlebitis: The great saphenous vein can thrombose. This type of phlebitis of the great saphenous vein usually is not life threatening in isolation; however, if the blood clot is located near the sapheno-femoral junction or near a perforator vein a clot fragment can migrate to the deep venous system and to the pulmonary circulation. Also it can be associated with, or progress to a deep vein thrombosis which must be treated promptly. So a saphenous vein thrombosis must be always investigated by ultrasonography to detect these complications.
See also 
Additional images 
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- Caggiati, Alberto; Bergan, John J. (2002). "The saphenous vein: Derivation of its name and its relevant anatomy". Journal of Vascular Surgery 35 (1): 172–5. doi:10.1067/mva.2002.118826. PMID 11802151.
- Franceschi, C.; Zamboni, P. (2009). Principles of Venous Hemodynamics. Nova biomedical Books. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-60692-485-3 Check
- Muhs, Bart E.; Gagne, Paul; Sheehan, Peter (2005). "Peripheral arterial disease: Clinical assessment and indications for revascularization in the patient with diabetes". Current Diabetes Reports 5 (1): 24–9. doi:10.1007/s11892-005-0063-7. PMID 15663913.
- Mamode, Nizam; Scott, Roy N (1999). "Graft type for femoro-popliteal bypass surgery". In Mamode, Nizam. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD001487. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001487. PMID 10796649.
- Feied C, Handler JA. Thrombophlebitis, Superficial. eMedicine.com. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic582.htm. Accessed on: December 18, 2006.
- Gray's s157 - "The arteries of the lower extremity" - Gray's Anatomy.
- Gray's s173 - "The veins of the lower extremity, abdomen, and pelvis" - Gray's Anatomy.
- Great saphenous vein - Stedman's medical dictionary.
- SUNY Labs 11:02-0102
- SUNY Labs 11:03-0105
- Mnemonic at medicalmnemonics.com 278