Obturator veins are located in the pelvis, near the back of the thigh. They are a collection point for veins that drain blood from the lower back as well as the hips. They, in turn, drain into the internal iliac vein, which is located deep within the pelvis and extends to the lower abdomen. These veins come into the pelvis through the obturator canal, a space between the pelvis and the thigh that allow both blood vessels and nerves to pass through the joint. In some humans the veins form a single vessel and in others they are bifurcated, or split into a larger and smaller branch. These veins also connect to the pubic veins, which drain blood from the urinary and reproductive tracts. Placing medical stents on Obturator veins is difficult because of their location and the fact that they travel at an angle which causes difficulties with stiff catheters. These veins are susceptible to injury during abdominal surgery, especially during the repair of femoral hernias.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Obturator veins