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vacuum -assisted biopsy - A type of biopsy in which a vacuum-powered instrument is inserted through the skin to the site of an abnormal growth to collect and remove a sample of cells for analysis. Using vacuum pressure, the abnormal cells and tissue are removed without having to withdraw the probe after each sampling as in core needle biopsy.

vagina - (va-jI-na) - The genital canal in the female, extending from the uterus to the vulva.

variceal bleeding - Bleeding from any of the veins that normally drain the stomach, esophagus, or intestines into the liver. -

varices - Dilated, fragile veins that are prone to bleeding because of the high pressure caused by portal hypertension. Varices typically arise at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, but can arise anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract. -

varicocele - An abnormal enlargement of a vein in the scrotum draining the testicles. -

varicose - Abnormally swollen and enlarged. -

varicose veins - When veins, typically in the legs, become less elastic and the one-way valves that normally prevent blood from flowing backward malfunction, blood pools in the vessels resulting in varicose or enlarged and knotty veins.

vascular - (vas-kyU-lar) - Relating to or containing blood vessels.

vascular disease - Any condition that affects the circulatory system, the system of blood vessels that transports blood throughout the body. -

vascular stenting - Often performed with angioplasty, a procedure in which a small wire mesh tube called a stent is permanently placed in a newly opened artery to help it stay open. For details see the Angioplasty and Vascular Stenting page. -

vasography - (vA-sog-ru-fE) - Radiography of the the secretory duct of the testicle (vas deferens), to determine patency (the state of being freely open), by injecting contrast medium into its opening either through the urethra or by incision into the vas deferens. -

vein - One of a large system of branching vessels that collect blood which the arteries have distributed to body tissues and returns it to the heart and then the lungs. -

vein stripping - A procedure in which varicose veins, abnormally swollen and enlarged blood vessels, are removed surgically, usually from the leg. -

venogram - X-ray imaging of the veins following contrast material injection into the veins.

venography - (vE-nog-ra-fE) - A type of x-ray in which contrast material is injected into a vein to show the details of its structure and any abnormality that may be present. -

venous insufficiency - Enlarged veins that cause circulatory problems. -

ventilation - (ven-ti-lA-shun) - Replacement of air or other gas in a space by fresh air or gas., Movement of gas(es) into and out of the lungs., -

vertebra - One of the bones that extend from the upper neck to the pelvic level and serve to enclose and protect the spinal cord. -

vertebrae - The bony segments of the spinal column which contain and protect the spinal cord. -

vertebral compression fractures - Fractures of the vertebrae caused by the compression, or excessive pushing, of one bone against another. -

vertebroplasty - Vertebroplasty is an imageguided, minimally invasive, nonsurgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebra (spinal bone) that has been weakened by osteoporosis or, less commonly, cancer.

vesicoureteral - The passage of urine from the bladder back into a ureter. -

virtual private network (VPN) - A computer network that links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits over the Internet instead of being directly connected by physical wires; software encryption ensures that only authorized users can access the network. -

viscera - An organ of the digestive, respiratory, urogenital, and endocrine systems, as well as the spleen, the heart, and great vessels; hollow and multilayered walled organs. -

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