External iliac vein

The external iliac vein is part of the human vascular system and one of the names for the femoral vein, one of the lower leg's deep veins. It heads up through the upper thigh as the femoral vein and becomes the external iliac vein, a name which corresponds with the artery it accompanies, when it reaches the lower abdomen. The inguinal ligament is located directly in front of it. It starts at the groin and runs along the edge of the pelvic area. When combined, the internal and external iliac veins form the common iliac vein at the tailbone. Unfortunately, the external iliac vein can cause complications, such as iliac vein compression syndrome, a venous disease that occurs when the right common iliac artery crosses over the vein. The compression that occurs can result in vein fibrosis. This external iliac vein problem presents with three different patterns: iliofemoral venous thrombosis (chronic leg pain and swelling), chronic venous insufficiency (chronic leg pain complaints), and iliofemoral DVT (venous drainage problems in the leg).
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: External iliac vein

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