This glossary will help you with medical terms

Ambulatory: A technique that allows the patient to leave a few hours after surgery, unlike the hospital.

Aneurysm : enlargement and thinning of a weak area of an artery( blood vessel.)

Aneurysm of the abdominal aorta (AAA)
Enlargement of the aorta resulting from a weakening of the arterial wall in the region of the abdomen. This term is often abbreviated as "AAA."
 
Angiogram: An x-ray of blood vessels which can be seen because the patient receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels on the x-ray.

Angiography: A procedure performed to view blood vessels after injecting them with a radioopaque dye that outlines them on x-ray. This technique can be usefully used to look at arteries in many areas of the body, including the brain, neck (carotids), heart, aorta, chest, pulmonary circuit, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and limbs.
 

Angioplasty: Procedure with a balloon-tipped catheter to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary artery. Also called Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA).

Anticoagulant: Any agent used to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Product or substance which retards or prevents the clotting of blood.

Antiplatelet:
A drug that makes unable platelets from sticking together to form a blood clot.

Aorta: The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart, goes up (ascends) a little ways, bends over (arches), then goes down (descends) through the chest and through the abdomen to where ends by dividing into two arteries called the common iliac arteries that go to the legs. 

Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the farthest reaches of the body. Since blood in arteries is usually full of oxygen, the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is oxygenated.

Atherosclerosis: A process of progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries as a result of fat deposits on their inner lining. 

Blood: The familiar red fluid in the body that contains white and red blood cells, platelets, proteins, and other elements. The blood is transported throughout the body by the circulatory system. Blood functions in two directions: arterial and venous. Arterial blood is the means by which oxygen and nutrients are transported to tissues while venous blood is the means by which carbon dioxide and metabolic by-products are transported to the lungs and kidneys, respectively, for removal from the body.


Blood clot: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a thrombus .

Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. It's measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called "hypertension".

Bypass: An operation in which a surgeon creates a new tubular pathway for the movement of fluids and/or other substances in the body. 
 

Cardiovascular Disease: Heart disease or blood vessels: arteries and veins

Catheter
Long thin device like a tube that allows you to position and develop a stent through the vascular system.

Carotid: Pertaining to the carotid artery and the area near that key artery located in the front of the neck though which blood from the heart goes to the brain. 
 
Cerebral arteries:
Arteries that carry blood to the brain.
 
Coronary arteries:
Arteries that bring blood to the heart.

Chest pain: There are many causes of chest pain. One is angina which results from inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle. Angina can be caused by coronary artery disease or spasm of the coronary arteries. Chest pain can also be due to a heart attack (coronary occlusion) and other important diseases such as, for example, dissection of the aorta and a pulmonary embolism.
 
Cholesterol:
This soft, waxy substance is found in lipids (fats) in the blood. His deposition in the arteries contributes to the narrowing of the diameter of the arteries.

Claudication : Limping. The word "claudication" comes from the Latin "claudicare" meaning to limp. 
 
Coagulation:
Action of the blood becomes less liquid and form clots.

Collateral: In anatomy, a collateral is a subordinate or accessory part. A collateral is also a side branch, as of a blood vessel or nerve.

Contrast (dye)
Product injected into the vascular system to visualize blood flow in blood vessels on the radiograph.

Coronary arteries: The vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. They are called the coronary arteries because they encircle the heart in the manner of a crown. The word "coronary" comes from the Latin "corona" and Greek "koron" meaning crown. Like other arteries, the coronaries may be subject to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). There are a number of coronary arteries. Those most often bypassed today include the right coronary artery, the posterior descending coronary artery, the left main coronary artery, the left anterior descending coronary artery and the left circumflex coronary artery. Plaques obstructing the coronary arteries may also be treated by balloon angioplasty , stents, and other techniques.


Chronic: This important term in medicine comes from the Greek chronos, time and means lasting a long time.Accute is the opposite

CT Scan (computed tomography or CT)
Imaging technique which creates cross-cutting views fine and very precise in your abdomen and your aorta. This technique often uses a contrast agent (dye) and low radiation exposure. Also known as CAT scan.

Deep vein : Main veins located within the muscles of the lower limbs.

Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus . Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus share the name "diabetes" because they are both conditions characterized by excessive urination (polyuria).

Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. It comes from the Latin verb "dilatare" meaning "to enlarge or expand."

Dilatation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" means the same thing. Both come from the Latin "dilatare" meaning "to enlarge or expand."

Disease: Illness or sickness often characterized by typical patient problems (symptoms) and physical findings (signs).

Dizziness : Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance (vestibular) system of the inner ear, and gastrointestinal system. Dizziness is a medically indistinct term which laypersons use to describe a variety of conditions ranging from lightheadedness, unsteadiness to vertigo. 

Doppler
Also called Doppler ultrasound, this review simple, safe and very useful, allows direct visualization of the vessels using ultrasound.

Edema: Infiltration and diffuse swelling of the subcutaneous tissue.

Elastic: establishment of a band, a low or a sticker that compresses the leg veins and prevents it from expanding.

Emboli: Something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel and blocks it. Examples of emboli are a detached blood clot, a clump of bacteria , and foreign material such as air. 

Endarterectomy: An operation to clean out an artery and restore normal blood flow through the artery. An endarterectomy is basically a "Rotorooter" procedure. It removes diseased material from the inside of an artery, and also removes any occluding atheromatous deposits, the aim being to leave a smooth lining within the vessel, so the blood can flow normally.

Endoleak: Blood flow to the aneurysm of the abdominal aorta after stenting.
 
Endovenous: For treatments that are on the inside of a vein

Endovascular prosthesis (stent or)
Synthetic prosthesis implanted in a diseased vessel to relieve the weakened vessel walls without resorting to techniques of open surgery.
The endovascular prostheses are implanted in the diseased aorta before being deployed until they reach the size of vessels in which they are placed.

Endovascular treatment
Using X-rays in real time and guides for the treatment of diseased arteries with fine incisions in the femoral arteries.

Endovascular repair
Considered less invasive than open surgical repair, this procedure is to exclude (condemn) the aneurysm from blood circulation by placing a stent in the diseased aorta, creating a new pathway for blood.

Epidural and Spinal: anesthesia methods that involve injecting a local anesthetic inside the spine to numb the nerves of the lower limbs.
 
 Femoral Artery
Two arteries located in each leg and carrying blood to the femur or to the thighs of each leg. Physicians access the iliac arteries and the aorta via the femoral artery

Fluoroscopy
Real-time Radiography viewed on a monitor and used with a fluoroscope (C-arm) during endovascular repair.

Gangrene: The death of body tissue due to the loss of blood supply to that tissue, sometimes permitting bacteria to invade it and accelerate its decay. 

Guide
Long flexible wire placed in an artery to keep the catheter and other accessories used for endovascular implantation of the stent.


HDL cholesterol:
Lipoproteins, which are combinations of lipids (fats) and proteins, are the form in which lipids are transported in the blood.

Heparin:
Heparin is an anticoagulant substance - it prevents blood clotting and clumping of platelets to prevent clotting. It is used in the prophylaxis of thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism.
 
Heparin, low molecular weight (LMWH):
This form of heparin plays the same role as the unfractionated
 
Hyperglycemia:
Glucose levels in blood higher than normal.

Hypertension: High blood pressure , defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90.
 
Hypoglycaemia
Glucose in the blood lower than normal and can cause a shock.
 

High blood pressure : Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is, by definition, a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. 
 
Iliac arteries

Two arteries carrying blood to the legs and connecting the aorta to the femoral arteries in each leg. The iliac arteries beginning at the point where the aorta splits (that is to say where it splits into two branches) in the abdomen.
 

Impatience: Need to move the legs when standing or lying.
 

Incision: A cut. When making an incision, a surgeon is making a cut.

Inflammation: A basic way in which the body reacts to infection , irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain . Inflammation is now recognized as a type of nonspecific immune response .

Intermittent claudication: An aching, crampy, tired, and sometimes burning pain in the legs that comes and goes -- it typically occurs with walking and goes away with rest -- due to poor circulation of blood in the arteries of the legs. In very severe claudication the pain is also felt ar rest. Intermittent claudication may occur in one or both legs and often continues to worsen over time. However, some people complain only of weakness in the legs when walking or a feeling of "tiredness" in the buttocks. Impotence is an occasional complaint in men.

Ischemia: Inadequate blood supply (circulation) to a local area due to blockage of the blood vessels to the area.

IVUS (intravascular ultrasound)
Ultrasound probe on a catheter inserted into arteries to visualize the vessel walls and measure the diameter and length of arteries.

Laser:
Intense light with only one wavelength is used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. The word laser comes from the acronym Anglo-American   "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".
 

LDL cholesterol: Lipoproteins which are combinations of lipids (fats) and proteins are the form in which lipids are transported in the blood. The low-density lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the liver to the tissues of the body. LDL cholesterol is therefore considered the "bad" cholesterol.
 

Leg: In popular usage, the leg extends from the top of the thigh down to the foot. However, in medical terminology, the leg refers to the portion of the lower extremity from the knee to the ankle.


Limb:
The arm or leg.

Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of Fat .) A lipid is more formally defined as a substance such as a fat, oil or wax that dissolves in alcohol but not in water. Lipids contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but have far less oxygen proportionally than carbohydrates

Lumen: A luminous term referring to the channel within a tube such as a blood vessel or to the cavity within a hollow organ such as the intestine . Lumen is a luminous term because it is Latin for light, including the light that comes through a window.


Magnetic resonance imaging : A special radiology technique designed to image internal structures of the body using magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce the images of body structures. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field that aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. A computer processes the receiver information, and an image is produced. The image and resolution is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body, particularly in the soft tissue, brain and spinal cord, abdomen and joints.


MRA:The magnetic resonance angiogram, or MRA, is a noninvasive test that has demonstrated usefulness in defining the anatomy of blood vessels of certain size in the head and neck. MRA serves as a complement to traditional MRI scanning in evaluation of the brain and neck.
 

MRI: Abbreviation and nickname for magnetic resonance imaging. For more information, see: Magnetic Resonance Imaging;

Muller:
Technique of surgical removal of varicose veins by micro incisions. It also speaks of intervention or phlebectomy Muller (named after the doctor who described the method)

Myocardial infarction:
The infarction usually occurs when a blood clot forms in the coronary arteries, thus reducing the supply of blood to the heart, resulting in necrosis (or death) of cardiac muscle.
Necrosis: The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ischemia (lack of blood flow). From the Greek "nekros" (dead body).

Micro-incisions: incisions in the skin 1-2 mm below.

Occlusion: The act of occluding.
Blockage of an artery leading to the arrest of normal blood flow.

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. 

 
Phlebitis:
Formation of a clot in a vein, usually a leg vein.

Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components.


Peripheral artery disease: A form of peripheral vascular disease in which there is partial or total blockage of an artery, usually one leading to a leg or arm. Leg artery disease and arm artery disease are somewhat different.


Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects the peripheral circulation , as opposed to the cardiac circulation. PVD comprises diseases of both peripheral arteries and peripheral veins. PVD is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for peripheral artery disease (PAD). Intermittent claudication due to inadequate blood flow to the leg is an example of peripheral artery disease (PAD) while varicose veins and spider veins are examples of peripheral vein disease.

Phlebectomy:
Surgical removal of varicose veins by micro incisions. It also speaks of intervention or phlebectomy Muller (named after the doctor who described the method)

Platelets:
These blood components play an important role in normal blood clotting.

Prosthetic: Referring to a prosthesis, an artificial substitute or replacement of a part of the body such as an artery

Pulmonary embolism:
Serious condition caused by sudden blockage of a vessel in the lungs.

Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy waves often used in medicine. 2. The use of energy waves to diagnose or treat disease. See also: Irradiation.

Radiation.Rayons
Energy form allowing the physician to see structures of blood vessels and other anatomical elements inside the body.
 

Removal of a vein : Ablation, removal of a vein.

Renal: Having to do with the kidney. From the Latin renes (the kidneys),

Renal arteries
Two arteries attached to the aorta carries blood from the aorta to the left and right kidneys.

Rest: Repose. Relaxation.

Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease.

Saphenous vein ( Great saphenous vein ):
Superficial vein on the inside of the leg and thigh, between the ankle and the groin. It empties into the deep venous system (femoral vein) in the groin

Saphenous vein ( Small saphenous vein ):
Superficial vein located behind the calf, between the ankle and knee hollows. It connects into the deep venous system (popliteal vein) in the popliteal region behind the knee. 


Sedative: A drug that calms a patient down, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives generally work by modulating signals within the central nervous system.


Side effects: Problems that occur when treatment goes beyond the desired effect. Or problems that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.


Statins: A class of drugs that lower cholesterol. 


Stenosis: A narrowing, as in:aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart), 


Stent:
A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. 
See endovascular prosthesis


Stroke : The sudden death of some brain cells due to a lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. A stroke is also called a cerebrovascular accident or, for short, a CVA. 

Superficial vein : Vein belonging to the superficial venous system, located in the subcutaneous tissue. That show delivery varices.


Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. Anxiety, lower back pain, and fatigue are all symptoms. They are sensations only the patient can perceive. In contrast, a sign is objective evidence of disease. 
 
Transient ischemic attack (TIA):
A TIA is a stroke related to a minor defect temporary and localized blood flow in the brain. By definition, it takes less than 24 hours. In reality the majority of A.I.T. last from several seconds to several minutes and are manifested by clumsiness of the hand, a gray veil down before one eye, difficulty speaking provisional.

Thrombophlebitis:See Phlebitis.
 
Thrombus : See Clot

Vascular disease:
Blood vessel disease such as hypertension, cerebral ischemia, infarction or angina pectoris and arteritis of lower limbs.

Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood low in oxygen content from the body back to the heart. 

 Ultrasound
Image created using sound waves at high frequency. Ultrasound waves can be bounced off of tissues using special devices. The echoes are then converted into a picture called a sonogram. Ultrasound imaging, referred to as ultrasonography, allows physicians and patients to get an inside view of soft tissues and body cavities, without using invasive techniques. 
 
Superficial phlebitis (or paraphlébite or phlebitis): superficial vein (often a varix) blocked by a clot, becoming painful and inflammatory. Also known as superficial venous thrombosis.
 

Synthetic prosthesis
Artificial material into a tube to replace diseased human blood vessels.

Sclerotherapy (or sclerosis): injection into a vein of a small irritant that causes shrinkage and exclusion of the vein.
 
Strip or 'Steri-strips " small adhesive strip that can close a wireless micro incision.
 
Stripping
ablation technique of saphenous vein with a catheter guide (stripper).


Telangiectasia: dilated intradermal venules of a caliber of less than 1 mm red. Telangiectasia often the appearance of hair, stars or spider legs to the lower limbs.
 
Varicose Ulcer: wound to the lower leg that do not heal or recurs regularly due to varicose veins.
 
Valve (or valves):
small anti-reflux valves arranged within the veins of the legs, preventing blood fall down while standing or sitting.
Varix: A varicose vein is a superficial dilated, tortuous and elongated in which the blood circulates Counterflow and no longer fulfills its role as a drain to the heart.

Varicosities: These are expansions of intradermal venules (located in the skin) color blue, purple or red.

Vascular: Relating to the blood vessels of the body. The blood vessels of the body, as a group, are referred to as the vascular system. 
 
Venule: small-caliber vein whose diameter is less than 2 millimeters.

Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids: blood vessels or lymph vessels.

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Dr. Alain Azencott
23 Rue Hoche
06400 Cannes (France)
Tél. : (00 33) 04 93 99 77 77
Fax : (00 33) 04 93 68 37 37

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