Anatomical Vein Terms

Do you sit there confused by what the doctor is saying?  Not sure what the terms are that the Doctor used?  We’re here to help!  Here’s a list of common terms used when discussing your vein health.  And you can always ask Dr. Mathai for further explanation.  He loves to help his patients. 

The front of a body part.

Back of a body part.

Deep Leg Vein
The veins that are deep in the thigh and leg that carry blood back to the heart.

Connective Tissue
This strong tissue is the white tissue that covers muscle.

Great Saphenous Vein
(sometimes called GSV or long saphenous vein) A long vein that can be seen just in front of the anklebone. This vein travels along the inside of the leg and thigh (about one-half inch beneath the skin in the thigh) until it empties into the deep vein called the common femoral vein in the groin.

Perforating Vein
A vein that passes directly from a superficial vein to a deep vein.

Popliteal Vein
The deep vein located behind the knee. The small saphenous vein originates from the popliteal vein.

Small Saphenous Vein
(sometimes called SSV, Lesser Saphenous Vein, or LSV) A superficial vein that starts at the outside of the foot and travels up the back of the calf where it empties into the deep vein (popliteal vein) in the crease of the knee.

Spider Vein
A tiny varicose vein that may be blue or red color that does not protrude above the skin surface and frequently looks like a spider. Common medical terms you may hear for spider veins are telangiectasias and telangiectatic veins. Slightly larger varicose veins that do not protrude above the skin are called reticular veins.

Superficial Vein
Any vein in the lower extremity above the deep fascia that covers the muscles of the thigh and leg.

Varicose Vein
A bulging vein that protrudes past the skin surface and usually measures greater than one-fourth of an inch (6.4 mm) in diameter.


Do you have leg or vein pain?  Take advantage of our FREE Screening.  Call 717-412-7226 today.