Glossary

Artery
Vessels carrying blood from the heart. (Veins carry blood back to the heart.)
Capillary
Extremely small blood vessel.
Catheter
Used during EVLT, a thin long tube designed to move within the vein, and close it by delivering laser energy.
Clot
Coagulated blood.
Duplex scan
Ultrasound system that uses colour to indicate the direction of blood flow. This is particularly helpful in visualizing and evaluating both the deep and superficial venous systems.
Compression therapy
A non-surgical therapy for venous insufficiency. Often involves compression stockings with varying degrees of pressure to improve blood flow and reduce symptoms caused by venous insufficiency.
Deep veins
Non-surface veins in the leg, which are near to the leg bones. They return blood directly to the heart.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Thrombus or blood clot, within a deep vein.
Doppler
Ultrasound device to detect the presence and movement of blood inside vessels.
Endovenous
Inside a vein.
Endovascular
Inside a blood vessel.
EVLT
Endovascular laser therapy (or ELVES). The use of a laser probe to close a varicose vein.
Foam sclerotherapy
The use of a chemical foam injected into varicose veins to cause them to close up.
Haematoma
A bruise or collection of blood in the skin.
Incompetent Vessel
Blood vessel that allows blood to fall back under the effect of gravity.
Ligation
Surgical closure of a vessel with sutures or staples.
Lumen
Interior of a blood vessel.
Microphlebectomy
The removal of varicose veins through a tiny cut in the skin.
Oedema
Swelling caused by fluid. Frequently occurs in the legs and ankles of people with varicose veins.
Occlusion
The closing of a vessel.
Paraesthesia
Numbness or tingling often associated with damage to sensory nerves.
Perforator veins
Veins connecting the superficial veins and deep veins.
Radiofrequency ablation
A minimally invasive technique which closes the great or small saphenous vein using microwave energy delivered throulgh a fine catheter. This interupts the feed to the visible varicose veins avoiding open surgery and allowing a quicker recovery.
Reflux
Reflux contributes to the development of varicose veins when incompetent leg vein valves let blood flow towards the feet instead of the heart.
Saphenous vein
The long saphenous vein is a large vein running from the ankle to the groin; the short saphenous vein runs up the back of the leg from the ankle to the knee.
Sclerotherapy
The injection of unwanted veins with a chemical. Often used for treatment of small diameter (1-2 mm) surface veins, such as thread veins.
Spider veins
See Thread veins
Stripping
Traditional part of a varicose vein operation where the long or short saphenous vein is removed by pulling it out from under the skin.
Superficial veins
Veins, just beneath the skin. Because they enjoy less support from nearby muscles and bones, they can develop areas of weakness in their walls and are more likely to become varicose than deep veins.
Thread veins
Small blood vessels near the skin's surface, which appear as tiny, twisted, purple lines.
Thrombosis
Formation or presence of a thrombus, or clot, within a blood vessel.
Thrombus
Blood clot that may block a blood vessel.
Ulcer (venous)
Lesion on skin caused by tissue loss (in the presence or caused by varicose veins).
Valves
Flaps in the leg veins, that open and close to prevent blood from flowing backwards.
Varicose veins
Veins with incompetent valves that are enlarged, tortuous and thickened. An estimated 10%-20% of the general population has varicose veins.
Vein
Blood vessels that take blood back to the heart
Venous insufficiency
Poor flow of venous blood from the legs and feet to the heart, often characterized by symptoms such as varicose veins, swelling, aching, skin changes and/or venous ulcers. Caused by over-dilation of venous vessels or damaged valves, resulting in pooling of blood. Deep vein thrombosis can also create this condition. Over time, this damages other valves in the veins and speeds progression of venous reflux.
VNUS Closure or VNUS Fast
The company name for radiofrequency ablation.