What is the Small Saphenous Vein (SSV)?
The Small Saphenous Vein (SSV) is the second main superficial vein in the leg (the main superficial vein in the leg being called the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV)). It is called a “truncal” vein as it is one of the long straight veins in the leg. The Great Saphenous Vein is the other truncal vein in the leg.
The Small Saphenous Vein has a major role in draining blood from the foot and from the skin and fat of the back of the lower leg (calf).
Previously the Small Saphenous Vein (SSV) has been called other names including the Short Saphenous Vein (SSV), the Lesser Saphenous Vein (LSV), Saphena Minima and other similar names. However to prevent confusion, the venous world has agreed since 2001 in Europe and 2004 in America to use the same names for all veins and therefore this vein is now only called the Small Saphenous Vein (SSV). Unfortunately there are still some people who are not experts in veins who still use the old terminology. As with all advances, with education the new names will become more widely used even amongst non-specialists.