The basilic vein is a large blood vessel within the arm. Between the shoulder and the elbow, the vein moves beneath muscle. Eventually, the vein meets with the axillary vein, which situated in the shoulder. This stands out as contrast to the vein's superficial nature in the forearm. For a person with well-toned upper body musculature, the basic vein can be easily spotted beneath 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 deoxygenated blood from both 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 oxygenated blood from the lungs and the heart.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Basilic vein