Accessory vein.
Thin-walled vein with diminished muscle cells and elastic fibers, running parallel to the saphenous vein but superficial to the saphenous fascia.

Ambulatory phlebectomy.
Also known as microphlebectomy. This is a method of removing bulging varicose veins from the legs by making tiny skin incisions, so small that no stitches are required.

Calf pump.
The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calf contract, expelling up to 70% of the venous blood from venous sinuses in the calf into the deep veins, in a single contraction. 

Chronic venous insufficiency.
Chronically impaired return of venous blood from the legs and feet, and resulting in ambulatory venous hypertension caused by incompetent valves. 

CEAP classification.
Classification of severity of venous insufficiency based on clinical, etiological, anatomical, and pathophysiological factors. The classes are C0 — no venous disease evident; C1 — telangectiasias and reticular veins; C2 — varicose veins; C3 — swelling; C4 — skin changes, C5 — healed ulceration; C6 — active ulceration.

Compression stockings.
Also referred to as compression hose or tights. Stockings that provide compression to the lower extremities used for prophylaxis against deep venous thrombosis and stimulation of the calf pump during ambulation. Compression also improves the results of sclerotherapy and phlebectomy when used immediately following treatment.

ClosureFast™ Procedure
A system produced by Medtronic endovenous, which employs radiofrequency energy to close superficial veins by controlled thermal injury. The vein closes by contraction of collagen fibers in the wall of the vein leading to fibrosis.

Deep veins.
These serve as the direct conduit for blood to return to the heart from the legs. In the calf, they are the tibial veins; behind the knee they are the popliteal veins, and in the thigh they are known as the femoral veins.

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
Formation of a clot or thrombus in the deep veins of the lower extremities.

A form of minimally invasive surgery, designed to access regions of the body via major blood vessels.

Diagnostic or therapeutic access from within a vein.

Endovenous laser therapy.
This is sometimes abbreviated EVL. This treatment uses targeted laser energy to close a vein from the inside by causing thermal damage to the vein wall.

Foam sclerotherapy.
Injection of a mixture of detergent sclerosing agent such as Polidocanol or Sotradecol with air or carbon dioxide producing a more viscous agent that offers several advantages when compared to liquid sclerosing injections. These include a smaller quantity of sclerosant required, no dilution with blood, and more prolonged contact with the vein wall, thereby increasing its efficiency. This technique is particularly valuable in treatment of larger veins.

Great saphenous vein.
The longest superficial vein in the body, originating on the top of the foot where it ascends up the front and inside aspect of the leg and thigh. It terminates in the femoral (deep) vein in the groin.

High ligation.
SEE: vein ligation.

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Light in this context refers not only to visible light but to the entire spectrum of electro-magnetic radiation, of which visible light is only a small part. Laser in venous ablation, utilizes wave lengths ranging from 810 to 1320 nm.

Pelvic congestion syndrome.
Characterized by chronic pelvic pain in the setting of reflux of pelvic veins.

Perforating veins.
Also known as perforators, a series of as many as 150 veins per leg, each with a single valve, connecting the superficial and deep systems. Incompetence or reflux of valves in perforators can lead to signs and symptoms of venous disease produced by other segments of the superficial venous circulation. These are very commonly associated with ulcerations and skin changes around the inside of the ankle.

Post thrombotic syndrome.
Also referred to as post phlebitic syndrome. This is a sequel to deep venous thrombosis in which permanent damage to valves result in chronic limb pain, swelling, and skin changes including ulceration.

Pulmonary thromboembolism.
Blockage of the pulmonary artery when a blood clot from a deep leg vein becomes dislodged from its site of formation and travels to the arterial blood supply of one or both lungs. This results in difficulty breathing, pain in the chest, and can result in sudden death.

A frequency of electrical energy, corresponding to the range of 3 Hz to 300 GHz. This energy can be used to close superficial veins, destroy abnormal electrical pathways in heart tissue that are responsible for producing arrhythmias and ablate liver and kidney tumors.

Restless legs syndrome.
A condition characterized by the irresistible urge to move ones legs. Thought to be related to a general, heightened sympathetic nervous system response that can be caused by a number of physical or emotional factors. Venous reflux disease is thought to be one possible cause.

Reticular veins.
Thin-walled, blue, superficial venules that feed telangectiesias or spider veins.

A certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography for Registered Physicians in Vascular Interpretation.

Registered Vascular Technician. Certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

Also referred to as injection therapy, sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a solution is injected into a vein in order to cause its disappearance by damaging the inside of the vein.

Small saphenous vein.
A superficial vein ascending from the outside of the ankle, up the back of the calf and feeding into the popliteal (deep) vein behind the knee.

Sotradecol® (sodium tetradecyl sulfate).
A detergent agent used for sclerotherapy or injection therapy.

Spider veins.
Also known as telangectiesias, spider veins are small, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin and are usually red in color.

Superficial veins.
A system of veins that functions both as a reservoir to hold extra blood and as a conduit to return blood from the periphery to the heart and lungs. These include the great saphenous vein, small saphenous vein, and lateral venous complex. These veins all empty into the deep system.

SEE: spider veins.

Sound above the audible frequencies, used to image anatomical structures deep to the skin.

Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy.
Use of ultrasound to guide injection of a sclerosant into the superficial venous system.

Varicose veins.
Superficial veins that have expanded in response to increased pressure and turbulence.

Vein ligation.
Also referred to as high ligation. The tying off of the saphenous vein at its junction with the femoral vein without removal of the saphenous vein. It is associated with a high rate of recurrence. When it is associated with removal of a saphenous vein, it is then referred to as a high ligation and stripping.

Vein stripping.
Removal of the saphenous vein after a high ligation.

Fiber optic light source used to better visualize reticular veins and spider veins.

Venous reflux.
Valve failure in a vein, resulting in blood flowing backwards toward the foot instead of toward the heart. This produces an increase in pressure and turbulence. It is usually the cause of varicose veins as well as the symptoms of aching and fatigue of the leg.