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Internal iliac vein: want to learn more about it?

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Internal iliac vein

Internal iliac vein (Vena iliaca interna)

The internal iliac vein, also known as the hypogastric vein, is a short vessel found in the pelvis. It arises from several smaller veins just above the greater sciatic foramen. The internal iliac vein has a short superior course over the iliacus muscle, after which it merges with the external iliac vein, forming the common iliac vein.

The main function of the internal iliac vein is to convey the blood from the pelvic viscera into the common iliac vein. Moreover, in the case of the external iliac vein obstruction, it provides an alternative route for the venous return of the lower extremity.

Key facts about the internal iliac vein
Origin Above the greater sciatic notch from many pelvic and extrapelvic tributaries
Tributaries Superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, internal pudendal, obturator, middle rectal, vesical, uterine and vaginal veins
Drains to Common iliac vein
Drainage area Pelvic organs and pelvic wall, perineum and external genitalia, gluteal region and medial region of the thigh

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the internal iliac vein.

Contents
  1. Anatomy and course
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Anatomy and course

The internal iliac vein arises superiorly to the greater sciatic foramen. It is formed by the coalescence of several extrapelvic and pelvic veins;

  • Its extrapelvic tributaries are the superior gluteal, inferior gluteal, internal pudendal and obturator veins.
  • Its pelvic tributaries are the middle rectal, vesical, uterine and vaginal veins.

The vein takes a short superior course, ascending the pelvic wall posteromedial to the internal iliac artery. Along its course, the anterolateral surface of the internal iliac vein is covered by the parietal peritoneum. At the level of the pelvic brim and anteriorly to the sacroiliac joint, it joins the external iliac vein and forms the common iliac vein

The internal iliac vein drains the blood from the pelvic organs and pelvic wall, perineum and external genitalia, gluteal region and medial region of the thigh.

Internal iliac vein: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

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“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

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