Medical terminology can be downright confusing. When you consult board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Edward G. Mackay at Edward G. Mackay and Associates, LLC in Tampa Bay, Florida, we want to be sure you have the tools you need to clearly understand discussions surrounding your condition and treatment options.
Some of the most common vein-related medical terms you may run across as you speak to our providers include the following:
Ablation simply means to remove or destroy tissue. This can be performed in a number of ways, such as by using surgical tools to cut and remove target tissue or various technologies to melt, vaporize, or wear away unwanted tissue.
When tissue destruction or removal occurs inside a vein, it is called endovenous (“within a vein”) ablation. This type of tissue destruction – endovenous ablation – is used to treat varicose veins and other venous disease. It works by sealing the faulty vein, which immediately diverts blood flow through nearby healthy veins. The abnormal vein no longer fills with blood and will shrink, effectively relieving a patient’s symptoms and no longer being visible through the skin.
Endovenous ablation can be performed using a variety of methods, including:
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that can cause swelling of one of your legs, such that it appears markedly larger than the other leg. The swelling occurs due to a problem with a lymphatic vessel, which results in a buildup of lymph fluid in the leg. Reducing leg swelling is critical to keeping the condition from worsening. Find out more on our One Leg Larger Than the Other page.
Lymphedema can be distinguished from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can also cause swelling in one leg, by the extent of the swelling. If your leg and foot become swollen, including your toes, it is more likely to be lymphedema. DVT doesn’t cause swelling in the toes.
This minimally invasive procedure uses a surgical tool resembling a tiny crochet hook to remove a varicose vein through very small incisions in the leg. A phlebectomy is typically done to treat problematic veins that are closer to the surface of the skin. Only local anesthesia is needed. Because the vein is removed entirely, symptom relief is usually immediate.
Spider veins are known by their web-like appearance close to the surface of the skin. This condition often appears as discolored areas of what looks like tree branches. It does not cause pain, swelling, or other symptoms. Spider veins are a cosmetic issue.
Find out more on our Spider Veins page.
Varicose veins are a medical issue in which blood pools in the legs, resulting in large, engorged, and twisted veins visible as easily noticeable bluish-purple lumps under the skin. Throbbing pain, swelling, muscle cramps, and other symptoms are common. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to blood clots, bleeding, infections, and nonhealing wounds on the legs.
Find out more on our Varicose Veins page.
Would you like to know more about the vein care and treatments we offer at Edward G. Mackay and Associates, LLC in Tampa Bay? We’d be happy to talk to you about the condition of your veins – and how we can help. Call us at (727) 781-5652 to make an appointment or request your consultation now.