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

  • Upper (proximal) leg veins are those above the
    knee but below the waist.

    • Popliteal veins are located behind the
    • 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

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


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

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017