by Diana Kohnle
Phlebitis is the term for the swelling of a vein, most often in one’s leg. Thrombophlebitis is the term for inflammation of a vein caused by a blood clot. The term is often shortened to phlebitis. The condition is easily treatable, though it sometimes leads to more serious health concerns.
There are two kinds of phlebitis: superficial phlebitis (affecting veins near the skin's surface) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
When the clot is embedded into a deep vein, thrombophlebitis can become much more serious. The condition, appropriately named deep vein thrombosis, can cause blood clots in the lungs ( pulmonary embolism), heart attack, and stroke.
Phlebitis is often caused by:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors increase your chance of developing phlebitis:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
If you are diagnosed with phlebitis, follow your doctor's instructions.
Phlebitis can sometimes be prevented by the following actions:
On flights or car rides lasting more than four hours, take additional precautions to reduce your risk of thrombosis. These include:
The Mayo Clinic
National Institutes of Health
University of Maryland Medical Center
University of Michigan Health Systems
British Columbia Ministry of Health
Canadian Institute for Health Information
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Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael J. Fucci, DO