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Veins of pelvis and lower limb

The veins of the pelvis and lower limb collect deoxygenated blood and return it to the systemic circulation and ultimately flow into the right atrium of the heart. The veins of the lower extremity fuse and continue as the pelvic veins, which drain into the inferior vena cava.

There are three major veins providing the venous drainage from the pelvic walls and viscera: external iliac vein, internal iliac vein, and common iliac vein, which is formed by fusion of the first two. These veins of the pelvis correspond to the major pelvic arteries and share their names. The right and left common iliac veins merge together, creating the inferior vena cava.

The veins of the lower limb can be divided into the two following groups: superficial and deep veins. There are many anastomoses formed between the superficial and deep veins of the lower limb, called the communicating veins. The major deep veins include the femoral, popliteal, anterior tibial and posterior tibial veins. The two major superficial veins are the great and small saphenous veins.