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Term Definition
Valve disease

disease that impairs the function of one or more of the four main valves of the heart


An open-heart surgery done to correct a blocked heart valve. A balloon valvulotomy uses a balloon-tipped catheter to open up the valve.

Valvular insufficiency

also known as valvular regurgitation; the heart valve doesn't close tightly, allowing blood to flow or leak backward in the wrong direction; can contribute to heart failure

valvular stenosis

the narrowing of a heart valve opening, causing the leaftlets (flaps) to not open fully and reducing the flow of blood through the valve; can contribute to heart failure


Surgery to repair a defective heart valve. In balloon valvuloplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted and the balloon inflated, reshaping the deformed valve.

Variant angina

A type of chest pain caused when a muscle spasm narrows one or more coronary arteries, lessening or blocking blood flow to the heart. It generally occurs when a person is at rest and not placing demands for oxygen on the heart. Also called Prinzmetal's angina.

Varicose veins

leg veins that rise above the surface of the skin and may appear flesh colored, blue, or dark purple; often the first sign of chronic vein disease


Constriction of the blood vessels.


any drug that causes the blood vessels to widen; nitrates (such as nitroglycerin) and hydralazine are examples of vasodilator drugs


Drugs that increase blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels. They are used to treat low blood pressure, primarily during emergencies when patients are in shock from trauma, surgery, or a heart attack.


Spasm of the blood vessels.

vein ablation

a less-invasive treatment for vein disease in the large or deep veins; a long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into your veins and sends out radiofrequency or laser energy to shrink and seal the vein

vein bypass surgery

a surgical treatment for vein disease; a vein from elsewhere in the body is used to create an alternate route for blood to flow around the blocked vein

vein stenting

a treatment for chronic vein disease of the veins in the pelvis; a long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the vein, a balloon is inflated in the vein to open it up, and a wire mesh tube called a stent is left in place to prop the vein open

vein valve reconstruction

a treatment for chronic vein disease caused by malformed or damaged vein valves; the vein valves are repaired surgically or through a long, thin tube called a catheter

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