Varicose Vein Glossary

As you learn more about the causes and treatments of varicose veins and spider veins, you may encounter some terms that you are unfamiliar with. Here is a short and concise glossary to help you to better understand the language often used in talking about varicose veins:

    Apple cider vinegar: usually applied topically to treat varicose veins.

    Blood clot: a mass of red and white blood cells that have coagulated.

    Compression clothing
    : these are socks and stockings that are usually made of tight elastic and that apply pressure to the leg or ankle to assist blood flow.

    Deep veins: these are the veins closest to the muscles.

    Endovascular Ablation: electrodes are inserted into an affected vein, these electrodes touch the inside of the vein wall, heating the vein walls and destroying the tissue. As with sclerotherapy, the treated vein is then no longer able to carry blood and it is eventually absorbed by the body.

    Phlebitis: when the vein is inflamed, often just below the surface of the skin.

    Post-phlebitic leg: scaly, swollen, and discolored condition legs may exhibit after having experienced long-term phlebitis.

    Reticular veins: these are the flat blue veins found behind the knee.

    Saphenous veins: these are the largest surface veins on a patients legs.

    Sclerotherapy: in this procedure an irritating chemical is injected into the affected veins, causing them to scar and then to harden from the inside out; since the hardened veins can no longer accept blood, the body breaks them down and absorbs them.

    Spider veins: smaller and finer versions of varicose veins, often found on the face.

    Stasis dermatitis: poor circulation causing skin breakdown near the ankle.

    Superficial veins: these are the veins that are located near the surface of the skin.

    : small formations of fine reddish blood vessels on the face.

    Thrombophlebitis: when a vein associated with a clot becomes inflamed.

    Thrombosis: this is the formation of a blood clot.

    TIPP: (Transilluminated powered phlebectomy) is a procedure using intense light to see a persons superficial vein anatomy; this way its easier to pinpoint the exact location and size of a patients varicose veins. This also allows doctors to suction out the length of the vein through an incision.

    Tournique: a band that has been tightened.

    Trendelenburg test: A simple test wherein the leg is raised at a forty-five degree angle, above the level of the heart, until the leg veins empty, then once the leg is lowered the varicose veins will bulge out.

    Ulcers: open ruptures in the surface of the skin.

    Valve: a component within a vein or artery that prevents the backflow of blood by closing and restricting passage.

    from the Latin word varix, which means twisted.

    blood vessels that return impure blood from body tissues to the heart.

    Venous Lakes: pools of blood in the veins.

Now that you are familiar with these commonly-used words and phrases youll find it a lot easier to decipher research papers and articles about varicose veins. Armed with the definitions of the jargon spoken by many medical professionals, its time to start reading!