Rectal venous plexus

Rectal venous plexus

Infobox Vein
Latin = plexus venosus rectalis, plexus haemorrhoidalis
GraySubject = 173
GrayPage = 676

Caption = Scheme of the anastomosis of the veins of the rectum.

Caption2 = The veins of the right half of the male pelvis.
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Source =
DrainsTo = superior rectal vein
Artery =
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DorlandsPre = p_24
DorlandsSuf = 12648664
The hemorrhoidal plexus (or rectal venous plexus) surrounds the rectum, and communicates in front with the vesical plexus in the male, and the uterovaginal plexus in the female.

A free communication between the portal and systemic venous systems is established through the hemorrhoidal plexus.


It consists of two parts, an internal in the submucosa, and an external outside the muscular coat.

Internal plexus

The internal plexus presents a series of dilated pouches which are arranged in a circle around the tube, immediately above the anal orifice, and are connected by transverse branches.

This internal plexus is also known in some medical communities as the Irving plexus.

External plexus

* The lower part of the external plexus is drained by the inferior rectal veins into the internal pudendal vein

* The middle part of the external plexus is drained by the middle rectal vein which joins the internal iliac vein.

* The upper part of the external plexus is drained by the superior rectal vein which forms the commencement of the inferior mesenteric vein, a tributary of the portal vein.


The veins of the hemorrhoidal plexus are contained in very loose, connective tissue, so that they get less support from surrounding structures than most other veins, and are less capable of resisting increased blood-pressure.

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