What is Thrombophlebitis?

Dr Foram Bhuta

Dr Foram Bhuta

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 10 years of experience

November 17, 2021 Lifestyle Diseases 358 Views

English हिन्दी Bengali

What is the meaning of Thrombophlebitis?

Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition in which a blood clot is formed in one of the veins, leading to the blood flow slowing down in the vein. It most commonly affects the legs, but can also occur in the arms or other veins in the body.

Thrombophlebitis can occur just under the skin, or deeper in the leg or the arm between the muscle layers.

Thrombophlebitis affects the superficial veins and causes redness, swelling, and tenderness over the affected vein.

  • What are the causes of Thrombophlebitis?
  • What are the risk factors of Thrombophlebitis?
  • What are the symptoms of Thrombophlebitis?
  • How to diagnose Thrombophlebitis?
  • What is the treatment for Thrombophlebitis?
  • What are the complications of Thrombophlebitis?
  • How to prevent Thrombophlebitis?
  • What is the cost of Thrombophlebitis treatment in India?

What are the causes of Thrombophlebitis?

The cause of thrombophlebitis is the formation of a blood clot, which can take place due to:

  • Injury to a vein
  • Immobility for a long time
  • Inherited blood-clotting disorder

What are the risk factors of Thrombophlebitis?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing thrombophlebitis. These factors include:

  • Inactivity for a prolonged period
  • Varicose veins (swollen, enlarged, twisted veins)
  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Having a pacemaker (a device sending small electrical impulses to the heart to maintain the heart rate)
  • Use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • Hormone replacement therapy (treatment for relieving the symptoms of menopause)

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  • Family history of blood-clotting disorders
  • History of thrombophlebitis
  • History of a stroke
  • Age above 60 years
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Smoking

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What are the symptoms of Thrombophlebitis?

The symptoms of thrombophlebitis include the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • The affected vein becomes red and engorged

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How to diagnose Thrombophlebitis?

  • Physical examination: The doctor will examine the affected area and look for the affected veins near the skin’s surface. The patient’s medical history and family history are also noted.
  • D-dimer test: It is a type of blood test. Almost everyone with a blood clot has an increased blood level of a naturally occurring, clot-dissolving substance known as D dimer. An increased level of D dimer indicates a need for further testing.
  • Ultrasound: A wand-like device or transducer is moved over the affected area of the leg sending sound waves into the leg. These sound waves create images of the leg on the computer screen. This test helps to distinguish between thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot forms deep inside the vein).
  • Imaging tests: Imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scan, and an MRI scan are used to create images of the internal organs of the body and check for the presence of any blood clots.

What is the treatment for Thrombophlebitis?

In the initial stage of thrombophlebitis, the doctor may give the following home-care instructions:

  • Wear support stockings
  • Apply heat
  • Keep the limb elevated
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to get relief from pain and discomfort
  • Take antibiotics

The following types of treatments can be done for thrombophlebitis in the later stage:

Blood-thinning medications:

  • Blood-thinning medications or anticoagulants such as heparin, fondaparinux, or apixaban prevent blood clots from becoming bigger.
  • After the first session of treatment, the doctor recommends taking warfarin, rivaroxaban for many months to prevent blood clot formation in the future.
  • Blood-thinners can lead to excessive bleeding. Therefore, one must follow the doctor’s instructions on how to take these medications.

Clot-dissolving medications:

  • Treatment with a clot-dissolving drug is known as thrombolysis.
  • Alteplase is a medicine used for dissolving the blood clots in extensive cases of thrombophlebitis, DVT, and pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).

Compression stockings:

  • Compression stockings help in the prevention of swelling and reduce the chances of complications.

Vena cava filter:

  • If a patient cannot take blood thinners, a filter may be inserted into the main vein in the abdomen (known as vena cava) to prevent the clots from breaking loose in the veins of the leg and traveling to the lungs.
  • The filter is normally removed when it is no longer needed.

Varicose vein stripping:

  • The doctor can remove the varicose veins surgically that lead to pain or recurrent thrombophlebitis.
  • The procedure includes the removal of the long veins through small incisions.
  • Removal of the vein does not affect the blood flow in the leg, as the veins located deeper in the leg will take care of the increase in the blood volume.

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What are the complications of Thrombophlebitis?

The complications of thrombophlebitis include:

  • Pulmonary embolism: When a clot is formed deep in the vein and this clot becomes dislodged, it can travel to the lungs, where it can cause a blockage of the artery (embolism) and can become potentially life-threatening.
  • Post-phlebitic syndrome: It is also known as post-thrombotic syndrome. It can develop months or years after developing thrombophlebitis of deep vein thrombosis and can lead to swelling, pain, and heaviness in the affected leg.

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How to prevent Thrombophlebitis?

Thrombophlebitis can be prevented by:

  • Walking and moving around
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Moving the legs regularly
  • Maintain your weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Quit smoking

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What is the cost of Thrombophlebitis treatment in India?

The total cost of thrombophlebitis treatment in India can range from around INR 10,000 to INR 2,70,000. However, the cost of the procedure may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for thrombophlebitis treatment. The cost varies across different hospitals. 

If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of thrombophlebitis treatment, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. So, the total cost of thrombophlebitis treatment in India will be around INR 15,000 to INR 3,00,000. 

We hope that we were able to answer all your questions regarding thrombophlebitis through this article.

If you want more information and treatment for thrombophlebitis, you can contact a Vascular surgeon.

We only aim to give you information through the article and do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan. 

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