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    Blood Clots in the Leg Veins

    Blood Clots in the Leg Veins

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    Topic Overview

    Blood clots can happen in veins. A blood clot in a vein close to the skin isn't likely to cause problems. But having blood clots in deep veins is called deep vein thrombosis . Deep vein thrombosis happens most often in the legs. This problem can lead to a blood clot in the lung ( pulmonary embolism ).

    The deep veins of the leg have different terms to describe their location:

    • Upper (proximal) leg veins are those above the knee but below the waist.
      • Popliteal veins are located behind the knee.
      • Iliac and femoral veins are in the groin area.
    • Lower (distal) leg veins are those below the knee.
      • Distal leg veins are located in the calf and ankle.

    A person with a blood clot in a deep upper (proximal) leg vein is at increased risk for a blood clot in the lung or other complications.


    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology

    Current as ofJanuary 27, 2016

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