Covidien is now Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies


Glossary of Terms



An elastic blood vessel that transports oxygen-rich blood away from the heart; the veins carry oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart.


Very small blood vessels that form an intricate network throughout the body for the interchange of various substances, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

CVI is a progressive medical condition in which the valves that carry blood from the legs to the heart no longer function properly, causing blood to pool in the legs and the veins to expand, lose form and protrude from beneath the skin. Symptoms include swelling and fatigue of the legs, as well as skin changes and ulcers in more severe cases.1


A thick, viscous or coagulated mass of blood.


The major protein in connective tissue that shrinks or thickens when heated.

Color Duplex

Ultrasound system that uses color 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 therapy for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) that typically involves compression stockings with varying degrees of pressure to improve blood flow and reduce CVI-related symptoms, which include pain, swelling of the ankle or leg, leg fatigue, open sores and ulcers. Although this therapy may temporarily relieve symptoms, it does not address the underlying causes of CVI.

Deep Veins

Non-surface veins in the leg that carry blood directly to the heart.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A formation or presence of a thrombus, or clot, within a deep vein.


Enlargement of a vein due to increased internal pressure.


Ultrasound device that a technician may use to sense the presence or absence of flow in blood vessels. Swelling or inflammation caused by the build-up of fluids in the body. Edema is a severe symptom that occurs in the legs and ankles of people suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).


Swelling or inflammation caused by the build-up of fluids in the body. Edema is a severe symptom that occurs in the legs and ankles of people suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).


Within a blood vessel or vein


A localized mass of clotted blood confined within an organ, tissue or space.

Incompetent Valves

See Incompetent Vessel

Incompetent Vessel

A blood vessel that does not function properly. With Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), the small valves inside the vein do not open and close completely, causing the blood to pool in the legs and the veins to swell, which contributes to edema (swelling) and leg pain.

Laser Ablation

An endovenous treatment for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) using laser energy. The heat from the laser creates a steam bubble inside the diseased vein, heating the blood and causing it to coagulate so that the vein closes. Some laser energy can reach temperatures of up to 700 °C during treatment. Animal studies have shown that laser can potentially lead to perforation and destruction which can damage the vein walls, resulting in bruising and post-procedural pain for the patient2.

Ligation Lumen

The surgical closure of a vessel with sutures or staples. The inside cavity of a tubular organ, such as a blood vessel or an intestine.

Minimally Invasive

A treatment that minimizes injury and trauma to deep and superficial soft tissue in and around the body.


See Phlebectomy.


The closure of a blood vessel.


Numbness or tingling often associated with damage to sensory nerves.

Perforator Veins

Veins that serve as connections between the superficial veins and deep veins.


Developed in the 1950s, a phlebectomy involves removing diseased veins through a series of very small punctures or incisions with a variety of specialized hooks. It is typically used on varicose veins at or near the skin surface.


Physician who specializes in the treatment of vein disorders.


Condition in which the valves inside a vein are unable to close properly, causing blood to flow in the wrong direction.

Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation

A minimally invasive treatment for Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) that employs radiofrequency energy to provide controlled and consistent heat to a diseased vein. The heat contracts the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and close shut.

Saphenofemoral Junction

The place near the groin where the saphenous vein and femoral vein intersect.

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. Problems with valves in these veins often contribute to the development of varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).


A treatment often used for tiny surface veins, such as “spider veins.” A vein specialist injects a liquid, such as highly concentrated saline solution, that destroys the vein lining and causes the vein to collapse in on itself.

Spider Veins

Small blood vessels near the skin's surface, which appear as tiny, twisted, purple lines.

Vein Ligation and Stripping

Surgical treatments for severe cases of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) performed in combination under general anesthesia. To perform ligation, the surgeon ties off the diseased vein. The surgeon then removes, or strips, the diseased vein through two small incisions in the groin and calf. Recovery time is more extensive than with the minimally invasive endovenous ablation treatment options, which include radiofrequency (RF) ablation and laser ablation.3

Superficial veins

Veins that are located just beneath the skin. Because they enjoy less support from adjacent muscles and bones, they can develop areas of weakness in their walls, and are more likely to develop into varicose veins and CVI.


Formation or presence of a thrombus, or clot, within a blood vessel.


A blood clot that may block a blood vessel or be attached to the vessel without obstructing the interior.


Formation of an ulcer or lesion on the skin.

Ulcer (venous)

A lesion on skin caused by the deterioration of tissue and inflammation, and is one of the more severe symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).


Small flaps of tissue inside the leg veins that open and close to help control the flow and pressure of blood. The valves enable blood to flow against gravity from the legs back up toward the heart.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often thick, bulging veins that can protrude well beyond the skin’s surface. Often misunderstood as a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can progress to CVI, which is a more serious condition.


See Venous Vessels.

Venous Blood

Blood that has passed through the capillaries of various tissues other than the lungs. Venous blood is found in the veins, in the right chambers of the heart and in pulmonary arteries, and is usually dark red as a result of a lower content of oxygen.

Venous Vessels

Veins that carry oxygen-depleted blood to the heart; Arterial vessels carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart.

  1. Chronic Venous Insufficiency." Vascular Web. Society For Vascular Surgery, Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Aug. 2011.
  2. Weiss RA, et al. Comparison of Endovenous Radiofrequency Versus 810 nm Diode Laser Occlusion of Large Veins in an Animal Model. Dermotol Surgery 2002; 28: 56-61
  3. L. H. Rasmussen, M. Lawaetz, L. Bjoern, B. Vennits, A. Blemings and B. Eklof, Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Endovenous Laser Ablation, Radiofrequency Ablation, Foam Sclerotherapy and Surgical Stripping for Great Saphenous Varicose Veins. British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd., Wiley Online Library,, March 15, 2011.