A glossary of medical jargon used in this thread veins guide. This includes medical terms referred to or connected with this guide.


A type of drug which is prescribed to thin the blood and reduce the risk of a blood clot.

Arteries Small blood vessels which transport blood away from the heart and around the body.


Blood clots
A cluster of coagulated blood which develops inside a vein and is often referred to as a thrombus.


Capillary The smallest of all the blood vessels. This acts as a connection point between tiny arteries and tiny veins and allows blood to flow between them.

Enlarged or damaged capillaries are known as thread veins.

Compression treatment

This described a range of treatment for thread veins and varicose veins which includes stockings and tights. These fit tightly around the ankle and ease the symptoms of vascular conditions such as these.


Deep veins The name given to a series of veins which are situated deep within the skin. Deep veins differ from superficial veins which lie underneath the surface of the skin and can develop into varicose veins. Duplex ultrasound scan

A device which is used to assess the condition of superficial and deep veins. It uses colour as a means of assessing blood flow and the condition of the veins.


This refers to the inside of a blood vessel, e.g. a capillary.

Endovenous This refers to inside a vein, e.g. a superficial vein. It also refers to endovenous laser ablation: a form of treatment for varicose veins.


Femoral artery
A large artery in the leg which runs through the thigh and near to the groin. It is one of the major arteries in the body. It is often used in vascular procedures as an insertion point for a catheter (slim tube).


None at present.


The name given to a blood filled swelling underneath the skin. This often occurs following an injury or direct contact with a hard object.


This refers to the reaction of the body to a physical injury, burn, irritant or infection. This takes the form of a localised swelling, pain and reddened skin.


None at present.


None at present.



A type of vascular procedure, often used to treat varicose veins, which involves closing them off using staples or stitches.

Lumen This refers to the empty space in a vein: the hollow 'bit' in a blood vessel.


Microphlebectomy This procedure involves the removal of varicose veins via a small incision in the skin.


None at present.


A medical term used to describe a swelling often seen in the ankles or legs of people with varicose veins.

Occlusion This refers to the shutting down of a blood vessel, e.g. a capillary.


Perforator veins
These are veins which join the superficial veins with the deep veins.

Platelet This is a small, transparent cell fragment found in the blood which helps with clotting. But there is a risk of a blood clot forming in an artery leading to the heart or brain which prevents blood from flowing to either of these organs. If this occurs then it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.


None at present.


A term used to describe the backwards flow of blood to the lower half of the body. This is usually due to faulty valves within the veins. Blood then pools in the legs which can lead to varicose veins.


Sclerotherapy This is a non-surgical procedure in which a substance is injected into a damaged vein (varicose veins) or a broken blood vessel (thread veins). There is a version of this procedure called 'microsclerotherapy' which is used to treat thread veins.

Spider veins This is another name for thread veins. These are small red or blue blood vessels which have become enlarged due to a problem with blood circulation. They resemble a spider's web hence the name.

Superficial veins These are veins which lie near the surface of the skin. They are shallow based veins compared to deep veins. They are less robust and prone to damage and conditions such as varicose veins.


Thread veins

See also spider veins: these are small, branch like structures of veins which are red or purple in appearance and a source of embarrassment to the sufferer.

Thrombus Another name for a blood clot.

Thrombosis This is where a blood clot forms within a vein causing a blockage.


None at present.



This refers to the mechanism inside a vein which is similar to a gate in that it opens to allow blood to flow through the vein and shuts to prevent any backwards flow into the legs.

Varicose veins The name given to the thick, knotted, bluish coloured veins which bulge against the skin. These are veins which have become damaged or contain faulty valves which are unable to control blood flow.


The network of blood vessels which transport blood towards the heart. This is deoxygenated blood which contains nutrients, waste products etc.

Venous insufficiency A condition in which there is poor circulation of blood caused by damaged or enlarged veins. This leads to varicose veins, venous ulcers or varicose eczema.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.


None at present.

Guide to Thread Veins

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