What is the difference between phlebitis and deep vein thrombosis?

When phlebitis is superficial, a blood clot arises in the superficial veins, which are the veins that are just under the surface of the skin. This type of disorder is common and is usually a benign and self-limiting disease. DVT, on the other hand, is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body.

Is thrombophlebitis and phlebitis the same thing?

Phlebitis Overview

Phlebitis (fle-BYE-tis) means inflammation of a vein. Thrombophlebitis is due to one or more blood clots in a vein that cause inflammation. Thrombophlebitis usually occurs in leg veins, but it may occur in an arm or other parts of the body.

Can phlebitis lead to DVT?

Although uncommon, a superficial thrombophlebitis can sometimes progress through perforating veins to adjacent deep veins. Therefore, not surprisingly, the incidence of associated DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE) in people with superficial thrombophlebitis is relatively high.

What are the 3 types of phlebitis?


  • Mechanical phlebitis. Mechanical phlebitis occurs where the movement of a foreign object (cannula) within a vein causes friction and subsequent venous inflammation (Stokowski et al, 2009) (Fig 1). …
  • Chemical phlebitis. Chemical phlebitis is caused by the drug or fluid being infused through the cannula. …
  • Infective phlebitis.
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What is the fastest way to get rid of phlebitis?

For superficial thrombophlebitis, your doctor might recommend applying heat to the painful area, elevating the affected leg, using an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and possibly wearing compression stockings. The condition usually improves on its own.

What’s the best treatment for phlebitis?

In general, superficial phlebitis of the upper and lower extremities can be treated by applying warm compresses, elevation of the involved extremity, encouraging ambulation (walking), and oral anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen [Motrin, Advil], diclofenac [Voltaren, Cataflam, Voltaren-XR], etc.).

Do I need to see a doctor for phlebitis?

Call your doctor if there is swelling or pain in an extremity. Especially, if there are risk factors for deep vein thrombophlebitis including prolonged travel, bed rest, or recent surgery. Deep vein thrombophlebitis requires immediate medical care, especially if you have any of these signs and symptoms.

What foods to avoid if you have blood clots?

Don’t: Eat the Wrong Foods

So you have to be careful about the amounts of kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, chard, or collard or mustard greens you eat. Green tea, cranberry juice, and alcohol can affect blood thinners, too.

What happens if thrombophlebitis is left untreated?

This is a serious condition that occurs when a piece of blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream. This then blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs, preventing blood from reaching them. If left untreated, about 1 in 10 people with a DVT will develop a pulmonary embolism.

How long does it take for phlebitis to go away?

Except for these rare complications, you can expect a full recovery in one to two weeks. Hardening of the vein may take a little longer to heal. Recovery may also take longer if an infection is involved, or if you also have deep vein thrombosis. Superficial thrombophlebitis may recur if you have varicose veins.

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What are the symptoms of having phlebitis?

The most common symptoms of phlebitis are:

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness (which can get worse when you lower your leg)
  • Red, itchy skin that feels warm to the touch.

Does phlebitis go away on its own?

Superficial thrombophlebitis is not usually a serious condition and often settles down and goes away on its own within 2–6 weeks. However, it can be recurrent and persistent and cause significant pain and immobility.

What cream can I use for phlebitis?

Topical analgesia with nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory creams applied locally to the superficial vein thrombosis/superficial thrombophlebitis area controls symptoms. Hirudoid cream (heparinoid) shortens the duration of signs/symptoms.

What happens if phlebitis doesn’t go away?

Phlebitis may seem like an inconvenience, but if it’s left untreated, it can have serious consequences. Twisted and swollen blood vessels aren’t just a symptom of varicose veins. In some patients, they can be caused by phlebitis, a serious venous inflammation resulting from an injury to the blood vessel wall.

Is ice or heat better for phlebitis?

Apply heat or cold to the affected area. Do this for up to 10 minutes as often as directed. Heat: Use a warm compress, such as a heating pad. Cold: Use a cold compress, such as a cold pack or bag of ice wrapped in a thin towel.

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