Do You Have Phlebitis?

Published: 18th November 2009
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Phlebitis can have very serious consequences. However, there are simple diagnostic and treatment procedures available. This article explains the symptoms and treatments for this disorder.

A red or pink discoloration in the skin overlying the inflamed vein is a common sign of phlebitis. The area of phlebitis may be tender and feel warm to the touch. The vein with phlebitis may feel firm or rope-like. Sometimes the clot within the vein harbors infection, and you may also experience severe severe pain and high fever associated with the phlebitis.

Acute phlebitis can be triggered by trauma or a prolonged period of sitting, such as a long airline flight or a lengthy trip in a car. The blood that pools and stagnates in varicose veins puts abnormal pressure on the veins, which contributes to phlebitis. Chronic, recurrent phlebitis may occur if you suffer from varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

Phlebitis treatment emphasizes the reduction of inflammation, at the same time limiting the progression of the procss. The pressure caused by stagnating blood from varicose veins can be reduced through the use of compression stockings. Leg elevation while at rest will also help to reduce pressure within the leg veins. Your doctor may choose to prescribe medications such as aspiring or ibuprofen, which are anti-inflammatory medications.

It is wise, especially for if you have varicose veins and also have symptoms of phlebitis, to have a check performed for venous insufficiency by means of a careful ultrasound examination. Left untreated, venous insufficiency may lead to recurrent episodes of phlebitis. If the venous insufficiency condition is found, it is treatable with minimally invasive techniques, such as the VNUS Closure Procedure, that offers painless treatment with very fast recovery.

Phlebitis can resemble Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) with respect to symptoms. Phlebitis with a thrombus (blood clot) in a superficial skin vein is treated differently than a Deep Vein Thrombosis. A DVT is a blood clot within a deep vein of the leg, inside the muscle. DVT is a more serious condition and must be treated with blood thinner such as Coumadin. A venous ultrasound or other imaging modality is required to confirm the diagnosis of DVT. When DVT is present, there is a risk that the clot may travel to the lungs and cause a potentially fatal Pulmonary Embolism.


Treatment of venous insufficiency is a specialty of Maryland Vein Professionals. They provide full diagnostic and treatment options for phlebitis.

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