Thrombophlebitis is phlebitis (vein inflammation) related to a blood clot or thrombus. When it occurs repeatedly in different locations, it is known as "Thrombophlebitis migrans" or "migrating thrombophlebitis".
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The following symptoms are often (but not always) associated with thrombophlebitis:
pain in the part of the body affected
skin redness or inflammation (not always present)
swelling (edema) of the extremities (ankle and foot) Symptoms
The health care provider makes the diagnosis primarily based on the appearance of the affected area. Frequent checks of the pulse, blood pressure, temperature, skin condition, and circulation may be required.
If the cause is not readily identifiable, tests may be performed to determine the cause, including the following:
Blood coagulation studies Signs and tests
For more specific recommendations, see the particular condition. In general, treatment may include the following:
The patient may be advised to do the following:
- analgesics (pain medications)
anticoagulants or blood thinners to prevent new clot formation
thrombolytics to dissolve an existing clot
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation
antibiotics (if infection is present)
Support stockings and wraps to reduce discomfort
Elevate the affected area to reduce swelling.
Keep pressure off of the area to reduce pain and decrease the risk of further damage.
Apply moist heat to reduce inflammation and pain.
Surgical removal, stripping, or bypass of the vein is rarely needed but may be recommended in some situations. Treatment
Thrombophlebitis and other forms of phlebitis usually respond to prompt medical treatment.