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Basilic vein

The basilic vein is a large blood vessel within the arm. Between the shoulder and the elbow, this vein courses underneath muscle tissue. Eventually, the basilica vein merges into the axillary vein, which is situated in the shoulder. For a person with well-toned upper body musculature, the basilic vein can be easily spotted underneath the skin. However, the layout of this, and other superficial forearm blood vessels, differs from person to person. As such, the visible network patterns may be unique to body type and other factors. This vein plays an active role in draining oxygen-depleted blood from both the arm and the hand, and returning that blood to the lungs for reoxygenation. The basilic vein should not be confused with the brachial artery, which is also located in the arm. Arteries do not drain blood from a body part; rather, they deliver oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and the heart.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Basilic vein

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