Following are some common venous conditions and their definition.
chronic venous insufficiency.
Condition resulting from on-going venous reflux disease. Can result in varicose veins, skin discoloration in the ankle areas (see stasis discoloration), swelling of legs, and the possibility of venous ulcer formation. (also see restless leg syndrome)
deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Blood clot in a deep vein. These blood clots can cause pulmonary embolus wherein a blood clot in a deep vein breaks loose and travels to the lung where it blocks circulation.
deep venous system of the leg
One of the three major systems of veins in the leg (see also superficial veins, perforator veins). The deep venous system of leg veins is located deep in the leg and receives blood from more superficial veins. This system transports blood back to the heart. The deep venous system is under the highest pressure of any leg vein systems. (See also femoral vein and saphenofemoral junction. Contrast with greater saphenous vein and superficial venous system of the leg).
effect of pregnancy on vein disease development
Pregnancy is one of the most common times women develop vein problems. During pregnancy the mother has an increased blood volume. In addition to increased blood volume, the growing baby puts pressure on the largest vein of the body located in the abdomen (the vena cava) which is transmitted to other veins down the legs. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy also affect veins. Pregnancy as a whole is a “set-up” for vein valve stress and damage. While it is true that by about three months after delivery, vein problems generally improve, damage done to the vein valves does not repair itself and vein problems may become worse with subsequent pregnancies. Though treatment is not done during pregnancy, it is certainly desirable between pregnancies. It is important for all the reasons just listed to ask a health care provider about the advisability of wearing compression stockings during pregnancy to help prevent development of vein disease.
Escape of fluids into surrounding tissues
Excessive scar tissue formation that can be cosmetically objectionable. People with naturally darker skin are more susceptible to keloid.
Death of tissue
Backward flow. In the legs this term refers to backward flow of blood allowed when a one-way vein valve malfunctions. Reflux can result in varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and telangiectasias (spider veins) when the valves inside very tiny veins do not work properly.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
A disorder characterized by sensations in the legs which compel movement. The sensations most often described as “creepy-crawly”, itchy, achy, prickly or boring. Typically, RLS does not involve pain. This disorder is most common in middle and older ages and affects 10-15% of the US population. RLS is most annoying at night and can cause trouble falling asleep, and/or repeated awakenings. RLS sufferers describe symptoms that are made worse by relaxation and which are relieved by activity. There are numerous causes for RLS such as intake of stimulants (including caffeine), side effects of some medications (i.e. beta blockers and antidepressants), alcohol, pregnancy, drug withdrawal, anemia, and chronic liver or kidney failure. Chronic venous insufficiency also appears to be a secondary cause of RLS. Many patients report improvement in or disappearance of their RLS symptoms after having saphenous vein ablation. Medications are also available for treatment of RLS.
Also referred to as telangiectasia. Spider veins are very small veins (can be as small as a hair), red or blue in appearance, that can resemble the legs of a spider. Spider veins can occur singly or as a spider vein complex.
spider vein complex or web
Name given to a closely spaced collection of spider veins that are many times created by one feeder vein.
Discoloration of the skin in the ankle area caused by chronic venous insufficiency. Components of the blood leak out into the skin causing skin discoloration, skin breakdown and set the stage for possible venous ulcer formation.
Inflammation of a vein of the superficial venous system in conjunction with a thrombus (clot). This condition can be painful, but not life-threatening (contrast with deep vein thrombosis), and is usually treated with local heat, leg elevation and aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen. (Also see phlebitis).
superficial veins of the leg
One of the three major systems of veins in the leg (see also deep venous system of the leg, perforator veins). Superficial veins collect blood from the skin and other superficial tissue and transport it to the deep venous system, sometimes through perforator veins. The largest superficial vein of the body is the greater saphenous vein.
Clot. In the venous system, the location of the clot is important. If the clot or thrombus forms in the deep venous system it can create a deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and possibly a life-threatening condition of pulmonary embolus. If the clot and inflammation occur in the superficial venous system, it is not usually of grave concern and can be treated effectively with local measures. (See phlebitis and superficial thrombophlebitis)
Enlarged, ropey, bulging and twisted superficial veins. Varicose veins are formed when the one-way valves inside veins do not work properly for various reasons (see risk factors for vein disease). If the vein valve becomes damaged or does not do its job, blood is allowed to leak backwards, causing increased pressure on the preceding area of the vein. Over time, the vein walls become thickened and enlarged. Varicose veins often produce aching and pain (see also varicose vein symptoms), and are many times present in the condition of chronic venous insufficiency. Once venous valves are damaged, they cannot be repaired. (See related varicose vein complications).
Disease of the veins such as: spider veins (telangiectasias), varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and venous ulcers.
venous stasis leg ulcer
Possible consequence of chronic venous insufficiency. (About 10% of patients with chronic venous insufficiency will develop venous ulcers). Venous ulcers can be very difficult to heal and also tend to reoccur. Treatment must include some form of compression. Greater saphenous vein ablation is very helpful in the treatment and prevention of venous ulcers.