Vein Glossary

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

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Anterior Accessory Branch Greater Saphenous Vein (AAGSV)
One of the large superficial branches on the anterior thigh associated with the development of varicose veins in about 10% of patients.
  -- Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) of the Anterior Accessory Great Saphenous Vein (AAGSV): Abolition of Sapheno-Femoral Reflux with Preservation of the Great Saphenous Vein
  -- Aneurysms of the superficial venous system: classification and treatment


Small Saphenous Vein
(SSV) The small saphenous vein is located in the back of the leg. The vein starts at the crease in the knee and runs down the back of the calf and angles to the outside of the foot. This vein is responsible for varicose veins in 10% of patients. Varicose veins are located on the back of the calf or thigh. The vein empties into a deep vein called 'popliteal'. The popliteal vein is the main deep vein in the knee area. -- Also called: Short Saphenous Vein, Lesser Saphenous Vein


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 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)