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Glossary - V

Displaying glossary terms beginning with the letter V: 1 - 50 of 56 in total
vaccination
A method of protecting the body against disease by injecting parts or all of a microorganism that will cause the body to develop antibodies against the microorganism and later fight off disease.
vacuum erection devices
Various manual or battery-operated pumps that a man can use to draw blood into the penis to create an erection.
vaginismus
Spasms of the muscles around the vaginal opening that prevent penile penetration.
valves
Structures consisting of leaflets that divide the chambers of the heart and prevent the backflow of blood from one chamber to another during contraction of the heart.
variant angina pectoris
Also called Prinzmetal's angina, these are attacks of chest pain caused by spasms of one or more coronary arteries almost always while a person is at rest.
vascular
Having to do with blood vessels and circulation.
vascular dementia
Dementia caused by narrowing or blockage of blood vessels in the brain or by a stroke or series of tiny strokes. Also called multi-infarct dementia.
vascular surgery
An operation to improve blood flow either by repairing leaks in blood vessels or by rerouting arteries to bypass blockages.
vasculitis
Inflammation of blood vessels.
vasectomy
An operation that ties off or cuts the tubes through which sperm travel from the testicles to the urethra; used as a form of birth control.
Related health topics: Glomerulonephritis
vasoconstrictor
A substance or condition, such as drugs, cold, fear, and nicotine, that causes blood vessels to narrow and thus de?creases the flow of blood.
vasoconstrictors
Substances that constrict blood vessels.
vasodilation
A widening of the blood vessels that results in increased blood flow.
vasodilator
A substance or condition that causes blood vessels to open wider and increase the flow of blood.
vasodilators
Substances that widen blood vessels.
vasospasm
Uncontrollable contraction or spasm of a blood vessel.
vector
An animal or insect that transmits an infectious disease from a reservoir to a susceptible host.
vein
A vessel that carries blood back to the heart.
venous
Pertaining to a vein.
venous leak
Seepage of blood out of a vein.
ventilator
Machine that inflates the lungs with oxygen.
ventricle
One of the two lower chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs; the left ventricle pumps blood to the rest of the body.
ventricular arrhythmia
Abnormal heart rhythm that starts in the lower chambers of the heart; this rhythm disturbance can occur as a complication of a heart attack and impairs the heart's pumping ability.
ventricular fibrillation
A deadly heart rhythm in which the ventricles contract independently of the atria and in a chaotic manner.
ventricular myocardium
Heart muscle that makes up the lower chambers of the heart.
ventricular rupture
Break in the heart muscle that allows blood to escape into the pericardial sac.
ventricular septal defect (VSD)
One or more holes in the septum, the muscular wall separating the right and left sides of the heart.
ventricular tachycardia
A very fast heartbeat that starts in the ventricles. Ventricular tachycardia can be deadly if it renders the heart unable to pump enough blood to the body.
venules
Small veins.
vertebra
One of the cylindrical bones that form the spine (plural: vertebrae).
vertebrae
The bones that form the spine.
vertebral artery
One of two blood vessels that run up the back of the neck and join at the base of the skull to form the basilar artery. The vertebral arteries carry blood from the heart to the brain.
Related health topics: Spinal Cord Tumors
vertebroplasty
A minimally invasive procedure to stabilize compressed vertebrae and alleviate pain. A needle is inserted into the compressed portion of a vertebra and surgical cement is injected to support the vertebra and prevent further collapse.
vertigo
Dizziness; often a spinning sensation or a feeling that the ground is tilting.
very low-calorie diet
A weight-loss diet that allows 800 or fewer caloriesper day (usually followed under medical supervision).
Related health topics: Concussion
very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)
A lipoprotein that transports triglyceride manufactured in the liver to fat tissue in the body. VLDL eventually becomes low-density lipoprotein (LDL) after the triglyceride has been removed.
vestibular system
The balance organs, located in the labyrinth in the inner ear.
viral
Pertaining to or caused by a virus.
virtues
Core characteristics that are universally valued by philosophers and religions across time and cultures, such as wisdom and courage.
Related health topics: Hepatitis B, Kidney Transplant
virulent
A disease or condition that is highly infectious or dangerous or rapidly progressing.
viscera
The internal organs, especially those found in the abdomen.
visceral fat
Fat that lies beneath the abdominal wall, in the spaces surrounding the liver, intestines, and other organs. Sometimes called belly fat or abdominal adiposity.
visual acuity
The eye's ability to see sharply, usually measured in comparison to what a normal eye would see from 20 feet. Problems in visual acuity can usually be corrected with eyeglasses.
visual cortex
The part of the occipital lobe in the brain that processes visual stimuli.
visual field
The full scope of what the eye sees; includes central and peripheral vision.
visualized laser-assisted prostatectomy (VLAP)
A technique used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) that allows the surgeon to view the prostate directly while it is being shrunk by a laser beam.
vital signs
Measurements that indicate how well the body is functioning, including pulse rate, respiration (breathing rate), temperature, and blood pressure.
vitamin D
A hormone that plays a key role in ensuring the absorption of calcium from the intestines.
Related health topics: Head Injury In Adults , Heart Failure
vitrectomy
A microsurgical procedure in which part of the vitreous humor of the eye is removed and then replaced with sterile saline or some other fluid.
vitreous humor
The clear, gel-like substance that fills the space behind the lens of the eye and supports the shape of the rear portion of the eye.