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Phlebitis

Phlebitis

The Vein Care Center is a leading vascular care provider serving Lima and Celina, OH, as well as the greater Auglaize County area. Our patients rely on us for individualized care and a holistic approach that addresses all of their vascular care needs. We are the fourth practice and third private practice in the state of Ohio to be accredited as a Vein Center. These accreditations provide assurance for our patients that the care they receive meets the highest professional standards for vascular treatment. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

What Is Phlebitis?

Simply stated, phlebitis (also known as thrombophlebitis) is inflammation of a vein due to one or more blood clots. Most commonly seen in leg veins (although sometimes in the arm), phlebitis occurs in both the superficial (surface) and deeper veins. These blood clots can cause pain and irritation and can block blood flow through the vein.

When the blood clots form in the superficial veins, they usually resolve quickly with proper care. Deep vein thrombophlebitis (DVT), however, is a more serious condition, because the blood clot or clots may break loose and travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), which is a potentially fatal condition that requires immediate medical intervention.

What Causes Phlebitis?

Phlebitis in the superficial veins can result from an injury to a vein or after a medical or surgical procedure. There are times when blood clots can form without a previous injury. The risk factors for phlebitis include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Prolonged period of inactivity (long car rides or plane rides)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Certain medical conditions (cancer or blood disorders, for example)
  • Injury
  • Pregnancy
  • Using hormonal birth control
  • Hormone replacement therapy

What Are the Symptoms of Superficial Phlebitis?

In superficial phlebitis, symptoms usually appear gradually over time and may present at first with a red area along the superficial veins which may feel hard, warm and tender. The overlying skin may become itchy and swollen and you may feel throbbing or burning. Symptoms are often worse in the morning when the leg is lowered. Patients may also develop a low-grade fever or develop an infection.

Although this type of phlebitis is rarely serious, it’s important to seek medical attention. Treatment typically involves pain medication, elevation and warm compresses for between one and two weeks.

What Are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Phlebitis?

DVT requires immediate medical care due to the possibility of life-threatening complications. The symptoms of DVT may be similar to superficial phlebitis, but may also include pain and swelling throughout the entire limb, high fever and skin discoloration or skin ulcers.

Because of the seriousness of DVT, it’s advised that you go to the emergency room if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Symptoms listed above accompanied by a high fever
  • Lumps on the leg
  • Severe pain or swelling in the limb
  • Sudden shortness of breath (a possible sign of pulmonary embolism)

When it comes to diagnosing and treating vein conditions, you deserve the best care available. For residents of Lima, Celina and the surrounding communities of Auglaize County area of Ohio, that means board-certified and aesthetic-laser-certified family physician Dr. Manu B. Aggarwal, MHSA, MD, at the Vein Care Center. Contact us today to schedule your free screening.

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