Level and modalities of origin of the small saphenous vein: toward codification of the proximal approach level

  • M. GayeEmail author
  • P. A. Diagne
  • Aï Ndiaye
  • A. M. Diagne
  • S. Nazarian
  • A. Ndiaye
Original Article



The proximal approach to the small saphenous vein (SSV) must be performed according to precise anatomical landmarks to respect the esthetic profile of venous insufficiency surgery. In this work, we propose the tip of the lateral malleolus and the lateral edge of the calcaneal tendon as palpable landmarks from which to easily identify the situation of this vein.


This was a cadaveric dissection study involving 62 members of fresh and embalmed anatomical subjects. We used a horizontal line passing through the tip of the lateral malleolus and the lateral edge of the calcaneal tendon as reference marks. Once the origin of the SSV as dissected, the distances between the saphenous vein and the landmarks were measured.


We found that the small saphenous vein was often unique. The origin of this small saphenous vein projected, on average, to 4.40 cm from the horizontal passing through the tip of the lateral malleolus and 1.2 cm from the lateral edge of the calcaneal tendon.


These two measurements constitute the orthogonal coordinates for the situation of the small saphenous vein origin.


Small saphenous vein Origin Codification Proximal approach 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of our research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


  1. 1.
    Caggiati A, Bergan JJ, Gloviczki P et al (2002) International interdisciplinary consensus committee of venous anatomical terminology. Nomenclature of the veins of lower limbs: an international interdisciplinary consensus statement. J Vasc Surg 36:416–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    FICAT (1998) Terminologia Anatomica. George Thieme Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gillot C (1999) Les veines superficielles du membre inférieur. Morphologie 83(260):19–20Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kosinski C (1926) Observations on the superficial venous system of the lower extremity. J Anat 60:131–142Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kurt A, Unlu UL, Ipek A et al (2007) Short saphenous vein incompetence and chronic lower extremity venous disease. J Ultrasound Med 26:163–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lejars FM (1890) Les veines de la plante du pied. Arch Physiol 5:89–102Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mercier R (1973) Quelques points d’anatomie de la veine saphène externe. Phlébologie 26(2):191–196Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Payen B (1985) Rappel anatomique de la veine saphène externe. Phlébologie 38(3):453–461Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Perrin M (1995) Chirurgie de l’insuffisance veineuse superficielle. Encycl Méd Chir (Paris-France), Techniques Chirurgicales. Chirurgie Vasculaire 1995:43-161-AGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Uhl JF, Gillot C (2007) Embryology and three dimensional anatomy of the superficial venous system of the lower limbs. Phlebology 22(5):194–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Uhl JF, Gillot C (2013) Anatomy and embryology of the small saphenous vein: nerve relationships and implications for treatment. Phlebology 28(1):4–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Anatomy and Organogenesis, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and DentistryUniversity of Cheikh Anta DiopDakarSenegal
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular SurgeryFann HospitalDakarSenegal
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedics and TraumatologyPikine HospitalDakarSenegal
  4. 4.Laboratory of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MarseilleMarseilleFrance
  5. 5.Laboratory of Anatomy and Organogenesis, Training and Research Unit of Medical ScienceUniversity of Assane SeckZiguinchorSenegal

Personalised recommendations