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Glossary

Phlebology, lymphology, scar therapy – not everyone is familiar with medical terminology. Here you can find important terms with simple and concise explanations.

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N |  O  |  P |  R  |  S  |T  |  U  |  V    |   X |  Z |

A  
AbsorptionReabsorption of a substance 
AcraOf or pertaining to peripheral body parts, such as toes and fingers but also nose, chin, cheekbone, etc. 
AcrocyanosisBlueish peripheral (acral) body parts despite reasonably warm outside temperatures, often also cool peripheral body parts 
AcuteAn illness with a quick onset 
Acute stress reactionCollective term for non-typical reactions triggered by a past or current event. 
AdhesionAdherence 
Air-block techniqueIn sclerotherapy, the physician injects a small amount of air prior to injecting the medication; purpose: better adherence of the agent to the wall of the vein 
AlbuminMajor protein in blood plasma 
AllograftTransplantation from one individual to another of the same species 
AmnionEgg membrane, innermost layer of the placenta surrounding the embryo 
AnalgesicPainkiller 
AnaesthesiaInsensitivity to pain induced by a physician 
AneurysmPathological dilation of a section of the arterial wall 
AngiodysplasiaVascular malformation 
AngiographyRadiologic imaging of vessels after injecting a radiopaque dye
a) arteriography: arteries
b) phlebography: veins
c) lymphography: lymph vessels
 
 
AngiologyScientific study of the blood and lymph vessels 
AngioplastyWidening of narrowed vessel by means of a balloon catheter 
AnticoagulantsAgents that slow blood clotting 
ArterialPertaining to the arteries 
Arterial occlusion (acute)Sudden blockage of a normally dilated artery; mainly due to embolism from the heart, often with heart valve disease 
ArterioleSmallest artery 
ArteryBlood vessels that lead away from the heart and supply the tissues 
ArthrodesisSurgical, artificial stiffening of a joint (ankylosis) 
ArthrogenicStarting from a joint 
Arthrogenic congestive syndromeStasis in the lower leg induced by stiffening the upper ankle joint in a pointed foot position 
ArthropathyDisease of a joint 
Artificial comaA medically induced loss of consciousness. In this condition the patient can no longer be woken by strong external stimuli such as repeated pain stimuli. 
Artificial lymphoedemaSelf-induced oedema by self-mutilation (atypical, painful bluish lymphoedema) 
Atrophic scar

This is what a sunken scar resulting from poor wound healing is called. It results from an inadequate production of connective tissue fibres.

  • Develops in poorly-healing wounds if insufficient connective tissue fibres are formed
  • Sunken scar, most well-known: acne scar
 
Atrophie blanche(French: blanc/blanche: white) small, round to oval, can be up to palm size, often reticular, slightly sunken white atrophic lesions of bizarre appearance on the lower leg. Particularly painful and persistent if the lesion develops into a leg ulcer. 
AtrophyDecrease in size of normally developed organ, tissue or cells (due to disturbance of the balance between nutritional supply and demand) 
Autologous graft/ autologous transplantTransplant using the body’s own tissue, i.e. the donor and recipient are the same person 
B  
Babcock proceduresee Stripping procedure 
Baker’s cystAlso popliteal cyst; bulge of the dorsal joint capsule at the knee joint (synovial hernia = rupture of the synovial membrane)
 
 
BarbiturateSedative, but also an anaesthetic 
Basal layerLayer of the epidermis where new cells are continuously produced 
BiopsyCollection of a tissue sample 
Block dissection Removal of regional lymph nodes in surgical cancer treatment 
Bobath Special neurological treatment method used in physiotherapy 
Boyd's perforatorImportant connection vein (see Perforator veins), on the inside below the knee 
Brachial plexusNerve supply of the arm and the shoulder muscles originating from the cervical vertebrae (C5-T1) 
Buerger diseasesee Thrombangiitis obliterans 
BurnInjury by fire 
Burn severityDepth of the burn 
C  
CamouflageSpecial makeup technique for covering skin irregularities such as scars 
Capacitance vesselsVeins: due to their high elasticity, they fulfil the task of a blood reservoir in addition to blood transport  
Capillaries(med.) minute blood or lymph vessel 
CapillaryExtremely small blood vessels 
Capsular contractureContraction of a joint capsule, which leads to a restriction in movement 
Case historyEstablishing the patient’s prior medical history 
CellulitisIn German-speaking countries: abnormal changes in the female skin seen on the gluteal and thigh areas that can sometimes be painful. In English-speaking countries: extensive progressive, severe inflammation of the subcutaneous connective and fatty tissue. 
CervicalNeck area 
ChronicPersistent, ongoing, long-lasting, opposite of acute 
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)Damage to the dermis and subcutis on the lower leg caused by varicose veins or a leg vein thrombosis; ranging from propensity toward swelling, pigment deposits, callosity of the dermis and subcutis, atrophie blanche to venous leg ulcers 
Circular burnBurn that extends around the body 
Circumferential burnsCircumferential burns 
ClinicalMedical treatment 
Collagen Structural protein in the body, that forms the elastic fibres in connective tissue 
CollapseStructural protein in the body
Fall together, breakdown
- Circulatory collapse: syncope, shock
- Circulatory collapse of the lungs: collapsed lung, e.g. in case of an injury to the chest wall
 
 
Collateral circulationVessels next to the main vessel that reach the same supply area and can take over if the main vessel fails 
Complex decongestionType of therapy consisting of lymphatic drainage, exercises and compression bandage or stocking 
Complex decongestive therapy2-phase therapy for lymphoedema and lipoedema and late-stage chronic venous insufficiency (q.v.) “Phase I of decongestion” with hygienic skin measures, frequent manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandages and decongesting movement therapy. “Phase II of maintenance and optimisation” with compression therapy, occasional manual lymphatic drainage, movement therapy, consistently applied hygienic measures. Complex decongestive therapy (CDT) can be supplemented by intermittent pneumatic compression (pneumatic compression massage) if necessary. 
CompliancePatient engagement in the therapy, also treatment adherence 
Compression garmentsAnatomically contoured knitted compression garments for different body areas (e.g. compression stockings) 
Compression rollsElastic rolls for compression treatment
Short-stretch; stretchable up to 70%
Medium-stretch; stretchable up to 130%
Long-stretch; stretchable over 130%
 
 
Compression therapy (methods)
 
a) Compression bandage
b) Medical compression garments
c) Intermittent compression
 
 
Compressive behaviour How compression garments and bandages exert pressure. Determined by factors such working and resting pressure, pressure gradient and compression class 
ConglomerateMassed together 
ConstitutionalInnate 
ContaminationInfection, impurity, soiling 
ContractCondense 
ContractionTightening, e.g. of a muscle 
ContractureShortening of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints that results in irreversible movement restrictions 
ContraindicationSituation where a drug, procedure or surgery may be harmful; reason not to use a medicine or procedure 
Contrast agentalso: radiopaque dye; agents applied to cavities or vessels for radiographic imaging 
Convoluted varicose veinsA bundle of varicose veins (Latin: convolvere: roll together, up or around) 
CoriumDermis 
Corona phlebectaticaDilation of small veins at the edge of the foot towards the ankle region, earliest sign of vein congestion (chronic venous insufficiency) 
CorrelateBe closely connected 
CrossectomySurgical removal/ligation of the saphenofemoral junction 
Crus, cruris(Latin) lower leg 
CryotherapyTreatment with cold 
Cutaneous conditionsGeneric term for skin diseases 
CutisCombined term for the epidermis and dermis 
CyanosisBluish discolouration on the skin, lips, finger nails due to lack of oxygen in the blood 
D  
DebridementCleaning of a wound 
Decubitus ulcerPressure ulcer: too much localised pressure with insufficient tissue nutrition; generally results in necrosis and ulcers from lying on the affected part  
Deep leg veinseins encased by muscle fascia from connective tissue (major veins and muscular veins) 
Deep thrombophlebitisInflammation and thrombosis of deep veins; short form: venous thrombosis; see phlebothrombosis 
DefectAbnormal function 
Derma(Greek) skin
- Epidermis (upper layer)
- Cutis (true skin, consisting of the dermis and the epidermis)
- Subcutis (lowermost layer)
 
 
DermabrasionAction of scraping off skin 
DermatitisInflammation of the skin  
DermatogenicOriginating from the skin 
DermatologyBranch of medicine concerned with the study of the skin and diseases of the skin 
DermatomeSurgical instrument for collecting skin grafts 
DermatosclerosisPathological thickening of parts of the skin 
Dermis, coriumSecond skin layer; layer of skin between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues 
DermojetTreatment of scars using cortisone 
DesensitizeStepwise exposure of a patient to their feared stimuli or memories, e.g. to alleviate anxiety symptoms 
Distal Latin: distare: to stand apart) parts of the extremities that are further away from the trunk, opposite: proximal 
Dissociative amnesiaTemporary total or partial loss of memory of a traumatic event 
DiuresisUrination 
DiureticsMedicines that increase water excretion. These should never be used for lymphoedema or oedema due to CVI.  
Dodd’s perforator Connector veins at the lower leg (see Varicose veins)  
Doppler effect(see Ultrasound examinations) Sound waves are reflected by a moving body with a change in frequency. The Doppler effect can also make the blood flow audible and – if recorded – visible.  
Doppler sonographyA special application of ultrasound 
Doppler ultrasoundsee Ultrasound examinations 
DrainageDehydration; medical: discharge of body fluids 
Duplex ultrasoundsee Ultrasound examinations  
DysphoriaDissatisfaction with life 
DysplasiaMalformation 
E  
EczemaExtensive, inflammatory abnormal skin changes with itching (see Dermatitis)  
ElastaneElastic synthetic material  
Elastodiene Elastic natural material 
Elastomers Collective term for naturally or artificially produced materials. They can be monofilament or multifilament fabrics and include natural rubber and synthetic rubber types.
Monofil: consisting of a single fibre; one-ply
Multifil: consisting of several individual fibres
 
 
ElephantiasisGross swelling of limbs due to chronic lymph congestion (see Lymphoedema) 
EmbolismObstruction in a blood vessel by a blood clot;
cause: spread of exogenous and endogenous substances that do not homogenously mix with the blood. These can form a conglomerate thereby constricting the vessel.
 
EmbolusDisplaced blood clot that has entered the blood stream 
Emotional labilityRapid mood changes 
EndotheliumInner lining of blood and lymph vessels  
EnteralPertaining to the small intestine 
EntityFixed constant, entireness 
EnuresisBed wetting 
EnzymesFerments, biological catalysts 
EpidermisThe outermost layer of the skin 
Epithelial tissueMultilayer arrangement of cells covering the surface of the body 
EpitheliumMulti-layer cell complex that surrounds the surface of the body 
ErysipelasInfection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics  
Erythema Reddening of the skin 
Erythrocyanosis(erythrocyanosis crurum puellarum) A type of acrocyanosis (q.v.) mainly affecting young girls and women: bluish-red cool skin on the lower legs, cornification of the hair follicles on the lower legs, tendency to get chilblains 
EscharWound scab: dead tissue that sheds or falls off from healthy skin 
EscharotomySurgical incision of the eschar to lessen constriction 
E-techniqueSpecial neurological treatment technique 
Excise, excisionCut out, remove, e.g. a scar 
ExpanderExpanders are used during plastic surgery to stretch and enlarge skin and tissue. An expander is inserted under the healthy skin and filled with liquid using a valve to stretch the healthy skin. The skin gained in this way is used to replace scar tissue. 
ExposedVisible, prominent, noticeable 
ExtensionStretching, elongation 
ExtracorporealOutside the body 
ExtravasateFluid in the tissues; blood, plasma or lymph fluid exuded from a vessel 
ExtravascularOutside a vessel 
ExtremitiesLimbs 
ExtremityLimb of the body 
ExtubationRemoval of a breathing tube 
ExudateFluid and cells that have seeped out of tissue, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels as a result of inflammation 
F  
Fascia(Latin: fascia: band) minimally elastic muscle sheath from connective tissue 
FasciocutaneousSkin and fascia combined  
FibrinFibrin is a protein that is needed for successful wound healing and blood coagulation. Fibrin is an active “adhesive” which polymerises and forms a net that closes the wound. 
Fibrin adhesive2-part adhesive, e.g. for securing skin grafts 
FibrinogenPrecursor to fibrin 
FibroblastConnective tissue cell. In the case of chronic, protein-rich oedema, an increased fibroblast activity causes proliferation of the connective tissue resulting in fibrosis.  
FibrosisConnective tissue changes as a result of proliferation of the connective tissue, e.g. in case of chronic, protein-rich oedema; also as a consequence of x-ray radiation (radiogenic fibrosis) 
Flap plastyFlap of tissue with all its vessels that is used to replace scar tissue 
FlashbackSudden recollection of a traumatic situation 
FlexionBending 
FluctuatingChangeable 
Fontaine French surgeon (Strasbourg) who classified the severity of PAD into different stages:
- I. Hardly any symptoms, easily tied, cold sensation on the legs
- II. Intermittent claudication (limping) (q.v.)
- III. Rest pain due to oxygen deprivation
- IV. Rest pain and necrosis, gangrene (q.v.)
 
 
G  
‘Gaiter’ ulcerLeg ulcer that surround the lower leg like gaiters  
GangreneProgression after cell death and necrosis 
GestationPregnancy 
GlobulesMedication in a spherical form 
GranulationFormation of grains 
Granulation tissueGranular connective tissue formed on the wound during the healing process (hypergranulation = excessive granulation) 
H  
HaemangiomaBenign tumour of the blood vessels  
HaematocritPercentage by volume of packed red blood cells of the total blood; important in artificial haemodilution 
HaematomaBruising, “black and blue” mark, discoloration that disappears in a few days 
HaemodilutionBlood thinning  
Haemodynamics Flow rate of the blood in the vessels 
Haemoglobin Protein that gives red blood cells their characteristic colour 
HaemorrhageBleeding 
HeparinAnticoagulant that slows clotting of the blood 
HeterogeneousConsisting of dissimilar elements or parts; not homogeneous 
HomogeneousUniform; not heterogeneous 
Hydrostatic pressurePressure of a fluid column over the observed position 
HyperaemiaIncreased amount of blood
Active: “increased blood circulation” due to increased activity of an organ
Passive: due to impaired drainage = congestion
 
HyperemiaExcess blood in a tissue  
Hyperkeratosis(Greek: hyper: over) excessive cornification of the skin 
HypertensionHigh blood pressure 
HypertrophicRaised, enlarged, still active 
Hypertrophic scarConnective tissue overgrowth of irregular shape due to an excess of collagen fibres; enlarged, raised, still active scars 
Hypertrophic scar formationExcessive, proliferative scar formation 
HypodermisAnother term for the subcutaneous fatty tissue 
Hypodermitis(Greek: hypo: under) inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue 
HypothermiaOvercooling 
HypoxiaReduction of oxygen content in body tissues 
I  
Immune systemBiological defense system of the body 
IndividuationConscious, individual personality 
InfectionInflammation 
InflammabilityCombustibility 
Infusion, infuseIntroduction of a liquid into the body using a hollow needle 
Inhalation injuryDamage to the lungs by inhalation of toxic substances  
Inhalation traumaDamage to the lungs due to breathing in harmful substances 
InjectionInsertion of liquid into the body with a syringe
- intraarterial (into the artery)
- intravenous (into the vein)
- intramuscular (into the muscle)
- intracutaneous (into the skin)
- subcutaneous (under the skin)
 
 
InstillationDropwise introduction of liquids into an organism 
InsufficiencyWeakness, inadequate performance of an organ or organ system  
Interaction levelEnvironmental level 
IntermittentIrregular  
Intermittent compression Pneumatic decongestion of a limb with intermittent, variable air pressure 
Interstitial Pertaining to the interstitium 
InterstitiumSpace between the body’s individual tissue layers. The supply pathways (blood vessels, nerves) of the organ are found in the interstitium. 
InterventionProcedure 
IntestinalPertaining to the intestinal tract 
IntraoperativeDuring an operation 
IntravenousInto the vein 
IntrusionUnwanted flashback of a traumatic event, which is often associated with anxiety and panic 
IntubationInsertion of a special tube into the respiratory tract 
IrreducibleNon-retractable; cannot be corrected 
IrremediableCannot be reconstructed; incurable 
IrreversibleCannot be reversed 
IschaemiaReduced blood content in the tissues
1. Absolute ischaemia = absolute bloodlessness due to a vascular occlusion
2. Relative ischaemia = insufficient supply – discrepancy between supply and demand; most frequent consequence: necrosis
 
 
K  
KeloidExcessive growth of connective tissue extending from the wound area to healthy skin; raised, no longer active scar tissue resulting from an abnormal healing process 
KeratinocytesBase cells of the epidermis  
L  
Langerhans cellsCells of the immune system that are located in the epidermis 
LaplaceLaplace’s equation: Pressure P = tension of a bandage = T divided by the radius of a cylinder = r
This equation means that the pressure exerted on the cylinder-like lower leg by compression treatment is directly proportional to the tension of the bandage, but inversely proportional to the radius of the lower leg. The smaller the circumference, the greater the pressure at the same force 
 
 
Laplace, Marquis deBorn in Paris; 1749–1827; mathematician  
Latency Concealed, hidden state of an illness 
Latency periodAsymptomatic precursory stage of an illness 
Latent Concealed, hidden; asymptomatic  
LateralAt the side; at the outside of a limb (at the inside: medial) 
Lateral branch varicosis(also tributary varicosis) These are varicose veins that develop in the side branch veins that empty into the trunk veins/saphenous veins (called side branch veins although they empty into the trunk veins; “roots” would be more correct) 
LatexRubber milk; watery dispersion of natural (rubber) or synthetic polymers 
LesionDamage, injury 
Lipoedema Jodhpur-like, bilateral, symmetrical swelling caused by fatty deposits from the iliac crests to the malleoli (especially in women); as lipo-lymphoedema in combination with lymphoedema.  
LipodermatosclerosisCallosity of the skin and of the subcutaneous fatty and connective tissue in the final stages of a chronic phlebo-lymphostatic insufficiency in the lower leg 
 
 
Lipo-lymphoedema
 
Combination of lipoedema and lymphoedema. In contrast to lipoedema that ends at ankle height, with swelling of instep, positive Stemmer’s sign (q.v.) and asymmetrical development 
 
 
Liposuction Invasive procedure, also for the treatment of lipoedema 
LocalizationLocation, site 
LocationPlace 
Long-stretch bandagessee Compression rolls 
Lower lid ectropion Drooping and sometimes everted lower eyelid 
Low-protein oedemaOedema with low (below 1g%) protein concentration (e.g. hunger oedema) 
Low-volume insufficiencyMechanical insufficiency: Disorder of the lymphatic system leading to an insufficient capacity to dispose of all lymph-obligatory proteins and waste products 
LRRAbbreviation of light reflection rheography, an optimised photoplethysmography (see PPG)  
LymphTissue fluid 
Lymphadenitis Inflammation of a lymph node 
LymphangiomaA benign lump originating in the lymphatic system  
LymphangiopathyDisease of the lymph vessels 
LymphangitisInflammation of one or more of the lymph vessels 
Lymphatic collectorCollector vessel for outflowing lymph  
Lymphatic drainageStroking massage technique to eliminate lymph congestion 
Lymphatic systemTransports lymph from the distal to the proximal part of the body
a) superficial l.: follows the greater veins and removes metabolic waste and other waste products from the skin and subcutis.
b) deep l.: follows the vessels within the fascia and removes metabolic waste and other waste products from the bones, joints and muscles. The two systems connect at the thigh and foot. In contrast to the venous system where the blood flows from the outside to the depths inside, lymphatic flow direction is from the depths to the outside. 
 
 
Lymph glandArchaic name for lymph nodes  
Lymph nodesFiltering station of the lymphatic system 
LymphoedemaAccumulation of fluid caused by impaired lymph drainage 
LymphogenicOriginating from lymph or the lymphatic system 
LymphographyX-ray imaging of lymph vessels following injection of a contrast agent 
LymphoscintigraphyDiagnostic procedure using a lymph-obligatory macromolecule with a radioactive label for the visualisation of the lymphatic system and for measuring the speed of the lymph flow over the half-life (T/2) as well as the quantitative measurement of radioactivity stored in the regional lymph nodes at rest and after movement 
M  
Major veinssee Veins; the major veins and muscular veins together form the deep venous system located within the fascia 
MalleolusMedial ankle (tibial) on the inside of the lower leg, lateral (fibular) on the outside of the lower leg 
Manual therapyJoint and soft tissue technique used in physiotherapy 
Mature scarsScars that no longer change under the application of pressure, are light in color and level with the skin 
MCP jointMetacarpophalangeal joint 
MediatorsHormone-like signal substances 
Medium-stretch bandagessee Compression rolls 
Meek techniquePerforated sheet grafts 
MentosternalArea between the chin and sternum 
MeshingIncreasing the size of a skin graft using a grid pattern 
Mesh graftSkin graft in the form of a mesh 
Metabolism Chemical transformations within cells: all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism 
Microanastomosis Surgical connection of very small blood vessels 
MicroangiopathyDisorder affecting the small blood vessels 
MicrocirculationCirculation of the blood and tissue fluids in the terminal vessels, between the end of the artery and beginning of the vein (capillary system) 
MobilisationMaking something move, e.g. stiff joints through exercise 
MobilityAbility to move 
MonitoringObserving body functions using monitoring devices 
MucosaMembrane lining various cavities in the body 
MyocutaneousMuscle and outer skin together 
N  
NarcosisAnaesthesia, artificially induced sleep-like state with loss of consciousness to produce insensibility to pain 
NarcotizationTo anaesthetize (see Narcosis) 
Necretomy, NecrosectomyRemoval of dead tissue. One example of necretomy is the surgical removal of burnt skin. 
Necrosis Necrosis is dead tissue which may impair the wound healing process 
NecroticDead 
Neurotrophic foot ulcerPressure ulcer in neuropathic disorders with impaired sensation; less frequent in leprosy, more frequent in diabetic or alcoholic neuropathies 
O  
Obesity

Excess adipose tissue

a) gynoid (female) fat distribution with wide hips and thick legs

b) android (male) fat distribution with pot belly and slim legs

 
Occupational therapyTherapy to relearn and build back lost physical, social or psychological functions. It provides targeted training to help patients master everyday activities such as washing, dressing, cooking, etc. 
OedemaAccumulation of fluid in the tissue 
OestrogenFemale sex hormone (follicle hormone) 
OrganismSystem of organs of the human body 
OrthotistOrthopedic technicians who manufacture medical aids, also compression garments 
OscillographyMethod for measuring the volume rate in the limbs, providing information on the quality of the arterial blood supply 
P  
Pad (pelotte)A “pelotte” is a ball-shaped, usually half-spherical pad generally used in medical applications for compression, or to press together or separate tissue. 
Paediatric surgeryMedical field specializing in the operative treatment of childhood illnesses 
PalpationExamination by touch  
PapillaryNipple-like (from Latin: papilla: nipple-like protuberance) 
ParenteralBypassing the alimentary tract, e.g. parenteral administration of a medication via a vein 
PathogenesisOrigin and development of a disease  
Patient historyInformation on the medical history of the disease 
Percutaneous Through the skin 
Perforate Penetrate; puncture  
Perforator veinCross-link between the superficial venous system outside the fascia and the deep venous system surrounded by fascia (see also Venae); the name implies that the fascia is perforated).  
Perimalleolar oedemaSwelling; confined to the area behind the ankles 
Perimalleolar regionHollow behind the ankle, often the location of a venous leg ulcer 
Permeability disorderLoss of permeability of cell membranes 
PerniosisChilblains 
Phlebectasia Dilation of the veins without varicosity 
PhlebectomySurgical removal of a vein 
PhlebitisInflammation of a vein  
PhleboedemaLeg swelling due to venous insufficiency
 
 
Phlebography Radiologic imaging of veins by mean of radiopaque dyes (see also Angiography)  
Phlebology 
 
Scientific study of veins and venous diseases
 
 
Phlebothrombosis Deep vein thrombosis 
Phlegmasia alba dolensThrombosis of the iliac and femoral veins; swelling of the leg, milky-whiteness, pain, fever 
Phlegmasia coerulea dolensAcute massive vein occlusion in the leg; clotting of the blood in all leg veins with inadequate arterial blood supply due to reflex constriction  
PhobiaPathological anxiety 
Physical therapyPhysiotherapy for the treatment of functional impairments 
PhysiotherapyMovement therapy to maintain or restore physical function; treatment by physical methods 
PigmentationColouring (esp. the pigments of the skin after exposure to UV light)  
PigmentsColouring agents 
Plastic surgeryPlastic surgery (Greek: plastikos - mold, give form) is any type of surgery that involves changes to organs or the surfaces of the body for functional or aesthetic/cosmetic reasons. 
PlateletThrombocyte; promotes blood clotting 
PlatysmaBroad sheet of muscle in the throat 
PlethysmographyRecording the volume increase of an extremity to determine the blood flow in case of an obstruction in venous drainage  
PlexusNetwork of nerves 
PneumoniaInflammation of the lung 
PNFPercutaneous needle fasciotomy - a special neurological treatment technique 
PODArterial occlusive disease 
PostoperativeAfter the operation 
Post-thrombotic(Latin: post: after) following a thrombosis 
Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS)Sum of the abnormal skin changes on the lower leg, from swellings to ulcers as a consequence of deep vein thrombosis 
Post-traumaticThe prefix “post” means after, here: after trauma; following a trauma 
Post-traumatic symptomsPsychological consequences of a traumatic experience that develop at a later time 
PPG(photoplethysmography)
A sensor head is used to beam light onto the uppermost layer of the skin, reflected back from here and read by the sensor head. The electronic comparison of the emitted light with the light received back provides information about the presence and severity of vein congestion (see also LRR)
 
Pressure gradientFor medical compression stockings: the pressure gradient from the bottom to the top, from distal to proximal 
PreventionAvoid or protect against something happening 
PrimaryThe first; original 
Primary excisionCutting out of small scars for immediate, direct wound closure 
Primary intention healingHealing of a wound without complications 
Primary lymphoedemaLymphoedema triggered by impaired development of the lymphatic system 
PrognosisPrediction about the course of a disease, expected course of the illness 
ProgredientProgressive 
ProgressiveAdvancing 
ProjectTo carry over 
Proliferation Excessive growth 
Prolong To extend the duration of 
ProphylacticPrevention (of diseases) 
Protein-rich oedemaOedema with a protein content of several gram percent (e.g. lymphoedema, oedema due to inflammation); chronic protein-rich oedema results in secondary abnormal tissue changes (connective tissue proliferation; fibrosis; sclerosis; excessive fat) 
ProthrombinInactive precursor to thrombin (q.v.) in the blood-clotting process 
ProximalPart of a limb nearest the trunk; opposite: distal 
PruritusItchiness 
PsycheThe sum total of all conscious and subconscious processes and mental functions 
PsychicRelating to the psyche 
PsychologistA psychologist practices psychology, which is defined as the scientific study of the experiences and behavior of humans 
PsychosisSo-called mental disorder 
PsychosomaticConnection or interaction between the body and mind 
PTSAbbreviation for post-thrombotic syndrome (q.v.) 
R  
Radialis flapSkin flap taken from an area of the forearm 
RAL guidelinesQuality requirements for medical compression stockings 
RecellSkin that is sprayed on rather than applied 
ReconvalescentRecovering from an illness, restoration 
RecurrenceRelapse 
RecurrentArising again 
RegressionRetreat to an earlier stage of development 
RefluxBackward flow of a fluid (e.g. blood) 
RehabilitationFollow-up treatment and best possible restoration of health 
RelapseRecurrence of a disease after healing 
RelaxRelease tension 
RelevantImportant, significant 
ResistanceDefence, protection  
RespiratorBreathing apparatus 
Respiratory therapyPassive and active breathing exercises as a supportive measure after surgery, e.g. blowing bubbles in a glass of water using a straw 
Resting pressurePressure exerted by a bandage or support without muscle activity. The higher the elasticity of a bandage or support, the greater its resting pressure and the lower its working pressure. 
Restless Legs Syndrome Feeling of uneasiness and restlessness in the legs while resting in bed at night, forcing the person to move the legs, e.g. in Parkinson’s disease  
Rest painPain at rest 
Reticular Netlike 
Reticular veinsVaricose veins in the surface network of the veins (see Varicose veins) 
RetinaculumReinforced strands of connective tissue 
RetraumatizationRepeat traumatization that may be brought about, amongst other things, by the treatment measures using in the intensive care phase (repeated loss of control) 
Retrograde amnesiaInability to recall the events for a certain period of time preceding loss of consciousness 
ReversibleAble to be changed back, restored 
Rule of ninesRule for calculating the total body surface area affected by a burn by dividing into 11 x 9 + 1 percentages 
S  
Saphenofemoral junctionPoint where the great saphenous vein joins the femoral vein at the groin area 
Saphenous varicose veinsVaricosity in either the great saphenous vein or the small saphenous vein (q.v.)  
ScaldInjury caused by hot liquids 
ScarA scar constitutes the healed state of a skin injury. The connective tissue of the scar will, at first, be red, fairly inelastic and not very functional. As the scar matures it is possible for shrinking and hardening to occur. 
Scar contracture releaseScar removal by making zigzag incisions so the wound can be closed without tension 
Scar hypertrophyAn excessive production of collagen fibres leads to the irregular formation of connective tissue extending beyond the original wound area. 
Scar massageCareful massaging with the aim of shrinking the scar tissue 
SclerosisPathological hardening of an organ 
SclerotherapyInjection of a sclerosing solution that causes the vein walls to stick together and seal shut (see also Sclerotisation) 
Sclerotisation see Sclerotherapy 
SecondaryOf second degree, following; dependent  
Secondary healing Delayed wound healing 
Secondary infectionInfection by another pathogen in an already infected wound 
Secondary lymphoedema A protein-rich oedema that develops due to a mechanical or low-volume insufficiency (q.v.) of the lymph vessels.  
Secondary sutureSuture of an originally infected wound after the infection has been eliminated 
Secondary varicose veinsVaricose veins that develop due to deep vein thrombosis  
SecretionDischarge product 
SedationCalming down by means of medications 
SedativeCalming medication 
SepsisDecay, blood poisoning 
SerologyArea of immunology; scientific study of the body’s immunological reactions and properties 
Seroma1. Accumulation of lymph that builds up in pockets
2. Build-up of fluid in a sutured wound
 
SerousFrom serum; fluid accumulations that primarily consist of serum 
Serum Non-coagulable yellowish blood fluid that has been separated from blood cells and fibrin 
SheetSpecial material for covering over 
Short-stretch bandagessee Compression rolls 
SiliconeMedical silicone allows a moist environment to develop on the scar, meaning the scar doesn’t dry out. It keeps the scar soft and has a beneficial effect on the scar tissue. 
Skeletal-muscle pumpAbility of a muscle to effect the venous return of the blood 
Skin bankRepository of skin cells for future use 
Skin defectMissing skin tissue 
Skin graftingTransfer of a full-thickness or split-thickness skin graft from one body region to another to cover exposed areas 
Spider veinssee Varicose veins 
Split-thickness skin graftSplit-thickness skin graft is a type of skin transplant (a wafer-thin part of the upper layer of the skin is resected) 
Spontaneous remissionSpontaneous healing 
StasisZone of circulatory stagnation 
Stasis dermatitis Inflammatory skin reaction on the congested lower leg 
Stasis dermatosisCollective term for abnormal skin changes due to congestion on the lower leg with the exception of venous ulcers  
Stemmer’s signWidening of the skin folds on the toes or fingers or the inability to lift the folds 
StigmaLabel, negative characteristic 
Stripping procedureSurgical removal of varicose veins by stripping 
SubcutisAnother term for the subcutaneous fascia 
SubstitutionReplace, fill up 
SufficientArchaic name for lymph nodes  
SurgeryA specialist medical field involving the diagnosis and then treatment of illnesses and injuries by operative means 
SwabCollection of skin cells using a cotton swab to test for a bacterial infection or cell changes. 
SymptomsSigns of illness, these signs being characteristic of a particular illness 
SystemicAffecting the entire organism 
T  
Take rateNumber of transplants that have healed in; number of healed grafts 
Tangential excisionRemoval of burnt skin in thin layers
 
 
TBSAAbbreviation for total body surface area 
TelangiectasiasDilation of tiny blood vessels near the skin  
Temperature sensorsCell unit for the perception of hot and cold 
TherapistOne who provides treatment 
TherapyTreatment 
ThermographyDetection of impaired peripheral blood circulation by registering temperature fluctuations in the skin that are depicted on the thermogram image in different colours  
ThermalThe Greek prefix “therm” stands for “warm” 
Thrombangiitis obliterans(also Buerger disease) Arterial and venous occlusive disorder, common among young men  
ThrombectomySurgical removal of a blot clot (thrombus) 
ThrombinThe use of drugs to dissolve a blot clot (thrombus) by means of certain enzymes (streptokinase, urokinase) 
ThrombolysisRecurrence of a disease after healing 
ThrombophlebitisInflammation of a vein; mostly used to describe inflammation of superficial veins 
Thrombosed vesselsVessels blocked by blood clots 
ThrombosisOcclusion of a vessel, vein or artery due to clotting (blood clot) 
ThrombusBlood clot formed in the blood vessel or the heart 
TracheaWindpipe 
TransplantationMoving of tissue or organs to replace missing body tissue or organs 
TraumaIInjury, wound, damage to the body, caused by external force or emotional distress 
TriggerEvent that initiates something 
VascularizationSupply with blood vessels 
VojtaSpecial neurological treatment method used in physiotherapy 
U  
Ulcer A break in the skin; long-lasting (chronic) sore
 
Ultrasound examinations
in phlebology
a) Doppler ultrasound. Blood flow measurement using Doppler ultrasonography (see also Doppler)
b) duplex ultrasound. Imaging technique for the visualisation of vessels, determining their location and inside diameter
 
Urticaria Nettle rash/reddening of the skin  
Urticarial Of nettle-like appearance 
V  
Valsalva manoeuvrePressure (as during bowel movement) for vein readings, named after the anatomist Antonio Valsalva (Bologna 1666–1723)  
Valve insufficiencyInsufficient valve closure in the veins or the heart
Varicophlebitis Inflammation of a varicose vein 
Varicose veinsVeins that have become enlarged and twisted  
Varix(Latin: varus: crooked) or varices, varicose vein
Branch (lateral branch varicosis) = varicose veins that run toward the saphenous varicose vein at an oblique angle
Spider veins = thin clusters of veins close to the surface of the skin
Reticular veins = varicose veins arranged in a netlike fashion at a distance from the two large stems
Saphenous varicose veins = varicosity the great saphenous vein or the small saphenous vein
 
Vas (Latin: vessel)
- extravascular, outside the vessel
- intravascular, inside the vessel
 
VasculitisInflammation of a vessel
VeinBlood vessel leading to the heart (Latin: vena)
- posterior arcuate vein
- femoral vein (thigh)
- iliac vein (common, internal, external)
- popliteal vein
- great saphenous vein; originates at the back of the forefoot, turns to the inside of the leg at the inner ankle and joins the femoral vein at the saphenofemoral junction (q.v.) below the groin
- small saphenous vein; originates at the lateral edge of the foot, runs behind the ankle to the back of the lower leg, pierces the muscle fascia behind the knee to join a deep vein
Vein bypassBypass of an obstructed blood vessel by transplanting a vein
Vein remediesGroup of plant-based, semisynthetic or synthetic medicines to treat vein problems
VenaePlural of vein: Veins
- communicant veins = cross-links within a surface and deep vein system
- perforator veins = cross-links between the surface and deep vein system; called perforators because they pierce the fascia. The perforators are the connections of the one-way blood flow from the surface to the deeper structure.
VenousPertaining to the veins
Venous capacityAmount of blood the leg veins can take when the body is moved to the upright position
Venous hypertensionElevated blood pressure in the veins, mostly as a result of return flow problems
Venous leg ulcerLeg ulcer
Venous pressureThe pressure in the vein. With a right ventricular failure, the venous pressure of the entire venous system is elevated (generalised phlebohypertension)
Venous systemPart of the circulatory system that transports the blood from the periphery to the heart.
A distinction is made between three different venous systems in the leg:
1. the superficial venous system located outside the fascia, also called the capacitance system because its task, among others, is to store and make available blood to be transported to the “lift” of the deep veins
2. the deep venous system located inside the muscle fascia; comprises muscular veins for waste disposal from the muscles and major veins for transport to the trunk
3. the perforator vein system that pierces through the fascia
Venous valvesValves in the veins that are designed to facilitate the one-way flow of the blood from the periphery to the heart and prevent backflow (if undamaged)
Venules (plural) The smallest veins collecting used blood from the capillaries to transport it to the trunk
VesselHere: blood or lymph vessel
W  
Working pressurePressure of a bandage during muscle activity. Result due to three factors:
Tensile strength and elasticity of the bandage as well as the number of times the bandage was wrapped around the body part 
 
X  
XenograftGraft obtained from an animal 
Z  
Z-plastyBreaking up of a scar by making Z-shaped incisions and then displacing and suturing the flaps in a tension free manner.