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External iliac vein

The external iliac vein is part of the human vascular system. It is an extension of the femoral vein, which is one of the lower leg's deep veins.

This vein travels up through the upper thigh as the femoral vein and becomes the external iliac vein (a name that 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 coccyx (or tailbone).

Conditions affecting the external iliac vein include 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, or thickening of the vein. This condition typically manifests three different patterns or symptoms: chronic leg pain and swelling, chronic venous insufficiency (chronic leg pain complaints), and iliofemoral DVT (venous drainage problems in the leg due to a clot).

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: External iliac vein

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