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Thrombophlebitis

  • Alternative Names

    Phlebitis


    Treatment

    In general, treatment may include support stockings and wraps to reduce discomfort as well as medications such as:

    • Analgesics (pain killers)
    • Antibiotics (if infection is present)
    • Anticoagulants (blood thinners) to prevent new clots from forming
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation
    • Thrombolytics to dissolve an existing clot

    You may be told to do the following:

    • Keep pressure off of the area to reduce pain and decrease the risk of further damage
    • Raise the affected area to reduce swelling

    Surgical removal, stripping, or bypass of the vein is rarely needed but may be recommended in some situations.

    For more specific recommendations, see the particular condition (superficial thrombophlebitis or deep venous thrombosis).


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Thrombophlebitis and other forms of phlebitis usually respond to prompt medical treatment.


    Complications

    Superficial thrombophlebitis rarely causes complications.

    Complications of deep vein thrombosis include blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or chronic pain and swelling in the leg.


    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of thrombophlebitis.

    Call your health care provider promptly if thrombophlebitis symptoms do not improve with treatment, if symptoms get worse, or if new symptoms occur (such as an entire limb becoming pale, cold, or swollen).