What is Thrombophlebitis?
Thrombophlebitis is a formation of blood clots in one of your veins that reduces the blood flow in the vein and causes inflammation. Typically legs and arms are affected by this condition and can occur in the veins at the surface of the skin or deeper, and in between muscle layers too. There are mainly 3 types of thrombophlebitis as mentioned below.
- Lower extremity superficial vein phlebitis and thrombosis – This is the clot formation that occurs just underneath the skin surface and causes pain.
- Deep vein thrombosis – In this condition clot formation occurs in the deep veins of your body mostly in the lower leg or thighs. This type of clot may travel through your bloodstream and get into the arteries in the lungs blocking the blood flow that can be fatal. This is called pulmonary embolism.
- Migratory thrombophlebitis – This condition is also called Trousseau’s syndrome, and the clot comes back in different parts of the body often associated with cancer of the lung and pancreas.
The signs and symptoms of thrombophlebitis are mainly associated with the type of condition you have. The common Thrombophlebitis symptoms are mentioned below:
- Swelling around the affected area
- Skin will be red and irritated in the affected area
- A swollen vein that looks like a tough cord under the skin
- Swollen foot and ankle
- Pain and tenderness that worsens when pressure is applied to the affected area.
- The warmth of the skin around the affected area.
Who is at Risk?
The risk of Thrombophlebitis increases if you have the following conditions:
- Older than 60 years
- Overweight or obese
- Had a stroke
- Being diagnosed with cancer
- Habit of smoking
- Had previous episodes of thrombophlebitis
- Having a family history or genetical tendency for clot formation
- Using contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy for birth control
- Certain cancers
- Catheters placed in the central veins of legs and arms
- Having a pacemaker
- Having varicose veins
- Being inactive for a prolonged period, eg; bedridden or travelling a long distance
The thrombophlebitis causes could be a blood clot that is formed due to the following reasons:
- An injury to the vein
- An in-born blood clotting condition
- Being inactive for long period in situations like hospitalization or being bedridden after a traumatic condition or surgery. Also sitting still for a long period during a plane travel or car drive.
How is Thrombophlebitis Diagnosed?
The doctor will start the thrombophlebitis diagnosis by asking the signs and symptoms of the conditions. You will be physically examined to take a look at the veins and skin surface. Some of the thrombophlebitis tests prescribed by the doctor will include ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI scan that will take the precise image of the area where the clot is suspected to be present. Blood tests will help in detecting the risk of the clot by identifying the level of D-dimer, a substance that is seen when there is a clot in the blood.
A venogram is done by injecting a dye into your vein. While taking an X-ray image, the clot will be visible very clearly.
How is Thrombophlebitis Treated?
Superficial thrombophlebitis treatment can be done at home with a doctor’s advice. The doctor may instruct you to do the following:
- Wearing stockings for support
- Applying heat
- Keeping the limb in an elevated position
- Taking antibiotics if there is an infection
- Blood thinners are prescribed as thrombophlebitis medicine in severe cases that will prevent the clot from getting bigger and coming back.
- Periodic blood tests to check if the medicine is working for you.
If you have persistent pain, vein stripping can be performed to remove a long vein when there is recurring thrombophlebitis. An IVC filter is recommended if there is a high risk of tissue damage and this will prevent clots in the legs from travelling to your lungs.
Start your thrombophlebitis cure by consulting a doctor at a Cure.Fit. We have a panel of experienced and efficient doctors. You can simply search on our website for the nearest branches in your location and search for the desired doctor available at your convenience. Book an appointment by sending a WhatsApp message to the given number. You will get a confirmation call after checking the doctor’s availability. Just get ready with your medical reports to consult the doctor in a privacy secure manner.
How can Thrombophlebitis be Prevented?
Sitting in a particular position for a longer period will cause swelling in the ankle and calves. To avoid clot formation practice the following:
- Stretch and move around regularly if you have a desk job that demands long hours of sitting.
- If you are driving long distances, stop by every hour and move a bit. Travelling by flight or train, walk up and down frequently.
- Elevate your ankles and press it carefully against the wall or footrest at least 10 times every hour.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.