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Any of the veins accompanying the inferior, middle, or superior rectal arteries. The rectal veins originate in an interconnected venous plexus that surrounds the rectum and anal canal and that connects with the vesical (bladder) venous plexus in males and the vaginal venous plexus in females. The inferior rectal vein empties into the internal pudendal vein, the middle rectal vein empties into the internal iliac vein, and the superior rectal vein empties into the inferior mesenteric vein. The anastomoses in the rectal venous plexus allow back-pressure in the portal system to be transmitted through the inferior mesenteric and superior rectal veins to the inferior and middle rectal veins and thus into other systemic veins. Synonym: hemorrhoidal vein
See also: vein