Vein Glossary

Below is a glossary of terms related to all aspects of venous disease

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Valve
This is a thin tissue in the lumen of the vein itself. When working properly, the valve prevents blood from leaking back down the vein the wrong way. Valves may not work right due to hereditary or previous clots.


Varicose Vein
Varicose veins are dilated veins near the surface of the skin that occur secondary to weakened valves and veins in your legs. In veins, there are one-way valves that keep blood flowing from your legs back up to your heart. When the valves are not functioning properly, blood collects in the veins in your legs and the pressure builds up. The veins become weakened, enlarged, and have a twisted appearance and may be dark blue in color. Varicose veins tend to run in families. Other causes of varicose veins include prior pregnancy, standing for long periods of time, age, tall stature, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and oral contraceptive use. Varicose veins are commonly found in the lower extremities.
  -- Evaluation of varicose veins: what do the clinical signs and symptoms reveal about the underlying disease and need for intervention?
  -- The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: Clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum


Vein
Veins return blood to the heart. There are many veins named and un-named in the human body. Veins contain valves which prevent back flow of blood.


Vein Light
A device that illuminates the superficial veins of the skin. May help identify feeding source of vein.


Vein of Giacommini
Connects the greater saphenous vein (GSV) with the small saphenous vein (SSV). If it refluxes it can cause varicose veins or spider veins in the posterior thigh.
  -- Treatment of Incompetent Vein of Giacomini (Thigh Extension Branch)


VeinGogh (Ohmic Thermolysis)
A device using a small needle that transmits heat to cauterize small red spider veins.
  -- VeinGogh


Venography
is a procedure in which an x-ray of the veins is taken after the doctor injects a special dye into your veins.


Venous Hypertension
The term used to describe the higher the normal pressure in the venous system. This is usually related to dysfunction of the venous valve or an old clot.


Venous Malformation
Refers to a large group of venous problems that are usually congenital conditions


Venous Severity Score (VSS)
A grading system for the severity of the venous problem. Some insurance companies require the VSS score to be greater than 6.


Venous Ulcer
A venous leg ulcer is a chronic, non-healing wound and occurs in individuals who have problems with the veins in their legs. Pressure gets too high in the veins, and this causes a breakdown of tissues that usually occurs around the ankles.
  -- New Technique to Heal Venous Ulcers: Terminal Interruption of the Reflux Source (TIRS)
  -- Percutaneous foam sclerotherapy for venous leg ulcers.


Vulvar Varicosities
Refer to enlarged veins that often occur in conjunction with menstrual cycle locate in the vulvar region of the vagina. Most can be treated with foam sclerotherapy.