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Common Definitions

Deep Veins

Carrying approximately 95% of the blood from the feet to the heart, the deep veins are the largest veins in the body, running in the muscle layer. The deep veins of the legs are the:

  • Femoreal Vein
  • Popliteal Vein
  • Gastroc Vein
  • Anterior Tibial Vein
  • Posterior Tibial Vein

Greater Saphenous Vein

The main large vein of the superficial vein system in the leg. It generally runs from the back of the heel up to the back of the knee where it empties into the deep vein (the popliteal vein).

Perforator Veins

Veins that perforate or "poke through") the muscle layer, connecting the large veins and the deep veins. When they are normal, they allow one way flow from the superficial (surface) system to the deep system.

Reticular Veins

Medium-sized superficial veins that appear bluish-green or green. They can become so large that they bulge.

Sclerotherapy

The injection of an irritating substance into an abnormal vein with the intent to cause inflammation of the vein wall and extend sclerosis (scarring down and dissolution or disolving of that vein).

Superficial Veins

Veins just below the skin's surface and above the muscle layer. Three layers and sizes of veins make up this superficial vein system: small veins, reticular (medium veins) and large (varicose veins).

Ultrasound

Sound waves at the very high frequency of over 20,000 kHz (vibrations per second). Ultrasound is used to view internal structures, including blood vessels (both veins and arteries).

Ultrasound Map

The process, (using ultrasound), which leads to an artistic rendition of the imaging of an individual's unique vein anatomy and flow patterns, by a registered vascular technician (or certified vascular technician). The physician uses this map to analyze the structural problems of the veins and the flow dynamics of the vein circulation.

Varicose

In the strictest sense, the term varicose means a dilated or swollen blood vessel. The term "varicose vein" is often used to refer to the very large rope-like blood vessels that bulge under the skin's surface.

Technically, a varicose vein is a vein of any size that is enlarged or swollen beyond its normal size. A "varicose small vein" we often call a spider vein. A "varicose medium vein" is a noticably around blue-green vein that runs just under the skin. A "varicose large vein" is the classic bulging vein that most of us think of when we say "varicose vein".

Venous Insufficiency

An abnormal circulatory condition characterized by decreased return of the venous blood from the legs to the heart. It is due to a weakened vein muscle wall, deteriorated valves in the veins, or both.

Venous Reflux

Abnormal flow retrograde (or backwards) through diseased veins. In abnormal veins, the flow is towards the feet, away from the heart, instead of from the feet to the heart as it should be.