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What is Phlebitis?


Do I Have Phlebitis?

If a doctor diagnoses you with having phlebitis, this means that you have one or more inflamed veins. Phlebitis can be superficial or deep and can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated.

Keep reading to learn more about this condition from our vein specialists at Albert Vein Institute.

Superficial Phlebitis

If you have superficial phlebitis, this means that you have an inflamed vein near the surface of your skin. This irritation typically occurs after a blood clot or irritation from a catheter. This condition is typically minor and does not require treatment.

Deep Phlebitis

Though superficial phlebitis is not typically a concern, deep phlebitis is. When a patient has deep phlebitis, this means that one or more of their deep and larger veins is inflamed — typically on the legs. This condition is most likely to be the result of a blood clot and can have serious life-threatening consequences.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep phlebitis is also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition can happen to any patient at any age and can lead to other severe illnesses, such as pulmonary embolism (sudden blockage in a lung artery) if left untreated.

In some instances, patients with varicose veins may experience episodes where their veins clot, causing phlebitis. If this condition progresses, it can cause deep vein thrombosis.

Also, patients who experience DVT following surgery may have their pain masked by post-operative soreness, and those who wear a brace after their operation may not be able to visibly see any signs of DVT.

Signs and Risk Factors Associated With DVT

Common symptoms of DVT include:

  • Swelling in your foot, legs, or ankle typically on one side.
  • Cramping or pain in your leg near the calf, your foot, or ankle.
  • The skin near that area feels warm or turns white or blue in color.

While anyone can be at risk for developing DVT, risk factors include:

  • Patients with slowed blood flow.
  • Patients with undiagnosed excessive clotting conditions.
  • Patients with a family history of DVT or pulmonary embolisms.
  • Traumatic injury or demobilization.
  • Knee, hip, and foot surgical procedures where tissue injury is prominent.

Vein Treatment in Lonetree

If you’ve experienced trauma or have undergone surgery on your legs, ankles, or feet, it’s important to know the signs of deep phlebitis, so you can keep an eye on your progress post-op. For proper diagnosis and treatment, please contact Dr. Albert at Albert Vein Institute for a consultation. Call (303) 857-5111 or contact us online today.