Vein Glossary

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

0 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Ablation
A generic term that refers to the closing of the greater saphenous vein (GSV), small saphenous vein (SSV), or anterior accessory saphenous vein using heat from a laser or radio frequency catheter.
  -- Endovenous Thermal Ablation of Superficial Venous Insufficiency of the Lower Extremity: Single-Center Experience with 3000 Limbs Treated in a 7-Year Period


Air Plethysmography
Tool that measures the ability of your muscle pump which means the ability of your calf muscles to pump blood out of your veins.


Aneurysm of the Vein
The definition is a ballooning of the vein at greater than 1.5x the diameter of the adjacent veins. Aneurysms can be benign and cause no problems or they can be the source of a clot that can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolus). The treatment depends on the location and the nearby anatomy.
  -- Aneurysms of the superficial venous system: classification and treatment


Angiogenesis
A network of new veins.
  -- Determination of Incidence and Risk Factors for Postsclerotherapy Telangiectatic Matting of the Lower Extremity: A Retrospective Analysis


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


Chronic venous insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that occurs when the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs.
  -- 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


CTV or MRV
Advanced radiologic imaging devices (CT scan/ MRI scan) to non-invasively look at veins of the abdomen and pelvis.


Duplex Ultrasound Examination
The venous duplex examination permits your vein specialist to see the anatomy and check the flow characteristics of the veins beneath your skin. Useful information is gathered that your doctor can use to adequately diagnose your specific vein problem and to plan and guide treatment.


Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
This is where a small laser filament is inserted into a vein to cause thrombosis of the vein and scarring.
  -- Endovenous thermal ablation of superficial venous insufficiency of the lower extremity: single-center experience with 3000 limbs treated in a 7-year period.
  -- 940-nm Laser for Treatment of Saphenous Insufficiency: Histological Analysis and Long-Term Follow-Up
  -- Histological changes occurring after endoluminal ablation with two diode lasers (940 and 1319 nm) from acute changes to 4 months


Foam Sclerotherapy
Foam sclerotherapy is the injection of a sclerosing solution mixed with either carbon dioxide (C02) or air into a vein that causes thrombosis of the vein and eventual resolution.
  -- Major neurological events following foam sclerotherapy
  -- Complications of foam sclerotherapy
  -- Subcutaneous injection of liquid and foamed polidocanol: extravasation is not responsible for skin necrosis during reticular and spider vein sclerotherapy.


Frontal Veins
The frontal veins occur in pairs in the anterior medial region of the forehead. It often becomes enlarged especially after facial plastic surgery. (Also known as supratrochlear veins) -- Also called: supratrochlear veins


Gastrocneimus Vein
Veins in the posterior calf associated with the gastrocnemius muscle. Clots can occur in these veins but, are not as dangerous as clots in the popliteal vein.
  -- Short-term natural history of isolated gastrocnemius and soleal vein thrombosis


Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV)
The GSV courses from the groin to the ankle on the inner aspect of the leg. The GSV is responsible for most visible bulging veins in the thigh and inner aspect of the calf. All veins have valves, and if the valve does not work right, then bulging varicosities occur through the branches of the GSV.


High Ligation
Refers to the process of dividing the saphenous vein in the groin when the patient has saphenous insufficiency. In the United States, this procedure is being rapidly replaced with thermal ablation.


IVUS
Using a special modality that looks inside your veins by ultrasound


Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)
A laser is used to treat veins. The laser delivers a single wavelength of intense electromagnetic radiation (light energy) directly into the vein, causing intense heat that destroys the lining of the vein. The vein will eventually clot and scar down.
  -- 940-nm laser for treatment of saphenous insufficiency: histological analysis and long-term follow-up,


Lateral Reticular Perforator
A vein from the deeper system to the lateral reticular vein responsible for high pressure in the cutaneous circuit.


Lateral Reticular Vein
Refers to the venous system on the lateral aspect of the leg that is the most common site for spider veins.


Lumen
The lumen is the opening inside of the vein in which blood flows.


Matting
Cluster of red veins close together that can occur after treatment with sclerotherapy. This is thought to be an inflammatory response.
  -- Determination of Incidence and Risk Factors for Postsclerotherapy Telangiectatic Matting of the Lower Extremity: A Retrospective Analysis


Micro-Surgical Techniques
A procedure where very small incisions are made in treating spider veins.


MOCA (Mechano-Chemical Ablation) (Clarivein)
A device that closes off the saphenous vein using sclerotherapy with a small rotating wire at the end of the catheter.


Neovascularity
A term used for the formation of new veins. Usually found after previous high ligations of the saphenous vein but, may occur after other vein procedures.


Nutcracker syndrome
A vascular compression disorder that refers to the compression of the left renal vein between the superior mesenteric artery and aorta. This can lead to renal venous hypertension, resulting in rupture of thin-walled veins into the collecting system with resultant hematuria.
  -- Treatment of nutcracker syndrome with open and endovascular interventions


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


Partibial Perforator
Also known as Boyd's and Sherman's perforators. These veins connect the saphenous vein to either the posterior tibial vein or the popliteal vein. -- Also called: Boyd's perforators, Sherman's perforators


Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Refers to pain in the pelvic region related to dilated uterine and/or ovarian veins. May also be associated with vulvar varicosities.


Percutaneous Foam Sclerotherapy
A technique where foam sclerotherapy is injected into a small vein on the skin surrounding a venous ulcer. Percutaneous foam sclerotherapy for venous leg ulcers.
  -- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24142137


Perforator
Perforator veins connect the superficial system to the deep system. These veins normally drain blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins as part of the process of returning oxygen-depleted blood to the heart.


Phlebitis
Inflammation of the vein wall which may lead to clot formation.


Polidocanol
Asclera (polidocanol injection) is a sclerosant used to treat spider veins.


Popliteal Vein
Refers to the main draining vein of the leg located behind the knee. The popliteal vein becomes the femoral vein in the lower thigh.


Posterior Tibial Perforator (Cockett's)
Communication between the posterior tibial vein and the posterior saphenous. It may be related to venous ulcers or spider veins around the ankle.


Radio Frequency
Any type of device that produces heat from electricity and it is used to treat large and small veins.


Recanalization
Refers to the formation of a new lumen after treatment of veins with heat ablation.


Recurrent Veins
The term referred to the formation of new veins after previous venous procedures. The cause of recurrent veins must be determined before treatment can commence.
  -- Factors Associated with Recurrence of Varicose Veins after Thermal Ablation: Results of The Recurrent Veins after Thermal Ablation Study
  -- Presentation of the patient with recurrent varices after surgery (REVAS).


Reticular Dermis
The area under the squamous layer of skin where most spider veins are located 0.3 mm to 0.8 mm below the skin level.


Reticular Vein
The bluish/greenish veins are close to the skin surface. They are usually visible and everyone has them. When there is increased transmitted venous pressure, reticular veins sometimes will dilate or be associated with spider veins.


Sapheon Glue
A recently approved modality that uses a bio-compatible to seal the saphenous vein not yet reimbursed by insurance companies.


Sclerosant
A term used for the solution used to do sclerotherapy for spider veins. FDA approved solutions are Sotradecol & Polidocanol. Other solutions doctors might use are glycerin and solutions that contain dextrose. Saline is rarely used since the effectiveness is low and it causes pain.


Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is the injection of a sclerosing solution into a vein that causes thrombosis of the vein and eventual resolution.
  -- Sclerotherapy of Spider Telangiectasia—Nursing Considerations


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


Sotradecol
Sotradecol (sodium tetradecyl sulfate) Injection is a sclerosing agent used by vein specialists to treat spider veins.


Spider Vein
Small red and bluish veins located just beneath the skin surface. Spider veins are usually associated with higher venous pressure in the reticular venous system. They can be associated with hormonal changes, pregnancy, heredity, and reflux in the deeper venous system.
  -- Microshunt histology in telangiectasias.
  -- Telangiectases in Venous Insufficiency: Point of Reflux and Treatment Strategy
  -- Red and blue telangiectasias. Differences in oxygenation?


Stripping
The saphenous vein is removed by using a small wire that is passed from the groin to below the knee. This is rarely done now due to newer techniques.
  -- Stripping the long saphenous vein reduces the rate of reoperation for recurrent varicose veins: five-year results of a randomized trial.


Suborbital Veins
Refers to the vein underneath the eye that becomes dilated in some patients.


Superficial thrombophlebitis (SVT)
Inflammation of a vein due to a blood clot in a vein usually located in veins near the skin surface. -- Also called: superficial vein thrombosis


Superficial Vein
Veins that are located closer to the skin above the muscles of the thigh and lower leg. In most cases, superficial veins are responsible for the bulging veins called varicosities.


Telangiectasia
Veins that connect the greater saphenous vein in the thigh to the femoral vein.


Temporal Veins
Veins that are located in the lateral aspect of the face above the eye and may become quite prominent.


Thermal ablation
Saphenous vein is treated with heat from a laser or radio-frequency device to cause eventual scarring and occlusion of the vein.
  -- Endovenous Thermal Ablation of Superficial Venous Insufficiency of the Lower Extremity: Single-Center Experience with 3000 Limbs Treated in a 7-Year Period
  -- Histological changes occurring after endoluminal ablation with two diode lasers (940 and 1319 nm) from acute changes to 4 months


Ultrasound
An ultrasound uses sound waves that are emitted through a hand-held probe placed on the skin. Gel is used for better skin contact and this helps eliminate air that may interfere with the transmission of the sound waves. The sound waves pass through the tissues beneath the probe and are bounced back from the veins. Venous specialists use ultrasound to diagnose and treat venous disease of the lower legs. By doing an ultrasound, your doctor can get valuable information such as the size and location of your veins and the direction of blood flow within the veins. The information from the ultrasound examination is necessary in order to plan appropriate treatment.


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 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.