Prostatic venous plexus
The prostatic venous plexus is a network of small veins that surrounds and drains the prostate gland of the male pelvis. It communicates with the inferior vesical vein of the urinary bladder superiorly, and the internal vertebral venous plexus posteriorly.
This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the prostatic venous plexus.
|Drains from||Prostatic capillaries|
|Tributaries||Vertebral venous plexus, deep dorsal vein of the penis|
|Drains to||Internal iliac vein via inferior vesical vein|
|Drainage area||Prostate gland, proximal urethra, ejaculatory ducts, terminal part of vas deferens|
Anatomy and function
The prostatic venous plexus travels along the anterolateral aspect of the prostate gland between the parietal and visceral layers of the endopelvic fascia associated with the prostate gland. Anteriorly, the venous plexus receives its primary tributary, the deep dorsal vein of the penis, which drains the distal two-thirds of the penis. The veins of the prostatic venous plexus travel posteriorly, draining the prostate and prostatic urethra, until they reach the lateral aspect of the seminal vesicles. This posterior aspect of the prostatic plexus drains the seminal vesicles and distal aspect of the vas deferens.
Some of the veins of the prostatic venous plexus will extend superiorly to terminate by draining into the inferior vesical vein of the urinary bladder, which goes on to drain into the internal iliac vein. Meanwhile, other veins will continue posteriorly to join the internal vertebral plexus. This can provide a pathway for prostatic cancer metastases to spread to the vertebral column or bones of the pelvis.
To learn more about the blood vessels of the male pelvis, check out our articles, quizzes, and videos.