The superficial veins lie within the subcutaneous tissue of the upper limb. These veins arise from small veins of the hand, which form a venous network on the dorsal surface of the wrist.
The major superficial veins that drain blood from the upper limb are the basilic vein and the cephalic vein. Both veins begin from the dorsal venous network of the hand. The basilic vein travels mostly along the medial side of the upper limb, while the cephalic vein passes along the lateral side. The basilic vein typically flows into the brachial vein, but the cephalic vein joins the axillary vein.
Another important superficial vein is the median antebrachial vein, which is highly variable. It ascends in the middle of the anterior aspect of the forearm between the basilic vein and the cephalic vein. At the cubital fossa, this vein flows into the median cubital vein. Sometimes it divides into two veins, which join the cephalic and basilic veins.