Thrombophlebitis happens when blood clots in your veins and results to inflammation. This can commonly be seen in your legs, but there are cases where the affected part is your arm or neck. Here are some things you should know to get rid of thrombophlebitis.
There are several causes of thrombophlebitis. Conditions that make your blood clot would put you at risk of having this condition.
- Injury to the vein and an inherited clotting disorder lead to thrombophlebitis.
- Inactivity may also lead to this condition.
- Inherited clotting disorder
- Inactivity, like being bedridden after a surgery
- Certain types of cancer may increase procoagulants and make you prone to blood clotting.
- Taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone therapy also put you at risk of thrombophlebitis.
- Pregnancy increases pressure in your legs and pelvis.
Superficial Thrombophlebitis rarely leads to complications. A clot in the deep vein may lead to deep vein thrombosis which may result to the following complications.
- Pulmonary embolism is a condition where the clot becomes dislodged and travels to the lungs.
- Heart attack and stroke may happen, especially if you have a congenital heart defect, like arterial or ventricular septal defect. The clot may block an artery which can lead to stroke or heart attack.
- Varicose veins happens when blood clots accumulate in your veins.
- Stasis pigmentation is a skin discoloration that occurs due to swelling and increased pressure on the veins.
- Venography. A contrast dye will be injected into your vein. With the use of an x-ray, you’ll see where the blood clot is. Venography is not commonly used today because there are other procedures that can be done to check for thrombophlebitis.
- CT scan, MRI and Ultrasound. All these diagnostic procedures produce a visual image of the affected part and locates the blood clot. (Learn how does an MRI work)
- Blood test. It has been studied that patients with thrombophlebitis have an elevated D dimer. A blood test for thrombophlebitis is usually done to rule out other illnesses because D dimer can also be elevated in other conditions. (Tips on how to read blood test results)
- Compression stockings. To reduce swelling and pain on the affected leg, your doctor may require you to wear support stockings.
- Filter. If blood thinners are not indicated for you, you may be required to have a filter. This is inserted in the vena cava. The filter prevents dislodged clots from going to the lungs.
- Varicose vein stripping is most commonly done for cosmetic purposes. In this procedure, the affected vein is surgically removed. This is an out- patient procedure so there’s no need for you to stay in the hospital for vein stripping. You will also be able to resume your normal activities after a few weeks.
- Clot removal. If a clot blocks the vein of your pelvis or artery, surgery may be indicated.
- Angioplasty is another procedure that removes the clot in your vein. A stent will be placed in your vein to keep it open.
- Analgesics can be used to lessen the pain.
- Antibiotics are given if there’s an infection.
- Anticoagulants like Warfarin prevents the formation of new clots.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can be given to reduce swelling and pain.
- Thrombolytics are given to get rid of clots.
Home Care and Prevention:
- Applying heat using a warm face towel would help ease the pain and swelling on the affected area.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of thrombophlebitis.