Thrombophlebitis

(Thrombo means clot and Phlebitis, inflammation of the vein.)

You might have heard of serious condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is of particular concern to people on long aeroplane flights. This condition is caused by clots forming in veins deep within the muscles.

Clots can also form in veins near the surface, often causing more noticeable symptoms particularly when the vein becomes inflamed. The general term for one or more inflamed veins caused by blood clots is Thrombophlebitis and occurs, typically in the legs. However, although rare, it may also occur in the veins of the arm. Read more…

Thrombophlebitis is often caused by prolonged inactivity such as from sitting for a long period of travel in an airplane or vehicle, or from lengthy bed rest after surgery. Such inactivity decreases the blood flow through your veins and may cause a clot to form. The affected vein may be near the surface of your skin (superficial thrombophlebitis) or deep within a muscle (DVT)

Symptom of Superficial Thrombophlebitis
This area may feel hard, warm, and tender and the skin around the vein may be itchy and swollen. A long, thin red area may be seen as the inflammation follows a superficial vein. The area may begin to throb or burn.

Symptoms may be worse when the leg is lowered, especially when first getting out of bed in the morning.If an infection is present, symptoms may include redness, fever, pain, swelling, or breakdown of the skin.

Deep Vein Thrombophlebitis
This can be similar in presentation to Superficial Thrombophlebitis, but some people may have no symptoms. One may have pain and swelling throughout the entire limb. For example, one side of the lower leg may swell for no apparent reason.

Research indicates that there are other conditions that may also place you at higher risk of Thrombophlebitis such as malignant disease, obesity, varicose veins, oestrogen hormone therapy, including oral contraceptives, dehydration, heart failure or an inherited family history of DVTs

See your doctor straight away if you have a red, swollen or tender vein or have any concerns.

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Disclaimer: Information provided on this page and during the YourDiagnosis session should not be regarded as a substitute for face-to-face medical advice by a qualified practitioner and is provided for educational purposes only.