What is phlebitis and thrombophlebitis: symptoms, causes and treatment
The phlebitis It refers to circulatory disorder due to inflammation of blood vessels, and it usually affects varicose veins. Sometimes phlebitis can be complicated by the formation of clots in the wall of the vein, leading to thrombophlebitis.
This disorder commonly affects the lower limbs although its condition is not ruled out in the area of the arms and shoulders.
There are different causes that can give rise to phlebitis. For example, it can arise after having suffered infections or injuries, or after a puncture for the extraction of blood or for the injection of some medication.
On the other hand, it may also appear as a consequence of having applied some medical technique considered invasive.
What symptoms does phlebitis show?
There are several symptoms that can arise as a result of phlebitis. The most common are those that we indicate below:
- It generates hardening of the venous tracts, often in varicose veins.
- Redness of the affected area
- Heat sensation and pain in the vessel that has suffered the disorder.
- Sometimes fever and malaise may also be experienced, more than anything, if it is the product of an infection.
Treatment to follow
The prescribed recommendations to alleviate the symptoms caused by phlebitis are of great help to the patient, that is why, if they are applied in time and correctly the disease cedes in a few days and at most in the course of two weeks. Among these we have:
- Administer treatment to achieve pain reduction with analgesics.
- A compressive bandage should be placed on the affected area.
- It is recommended to place, locally, some refreshing ointment.
- Application of anti-inflammatory medications.
- Controlled intake of antibiotics, only when phlebitis is the product of an infection.
And thrombophlebitis? What is it?
Thrombophlebitis is defined as the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, usually accompanied by inflammatory disorder, hindering good circulatory flow.
This disorder commonly affects both superficial and internal veins, the latter being more complex due to the complications that can cause.
The diagnosis made by the doctor consists of physical examination, ultrasound and / or phlebography. Approximately 90% of deep thrombophlebitis affect the legs or pelvic area, and only in 5% of cases the condition is located in the arms and shoulders.
What are the causes of thrombophlebitis?
The causes that give rise to thrombophlebitis can be very diverse and delicate, therefore it is recommended to avoid and be attentive to the following factors:
- Prolonged bed rest.
- The use of oral contraceptive pills.
- Heart failure.
According to statistics in 25% of patients, thrombosis can appear for no apparent reason, or there are disorders of blood coagulation.
What symptoms produces thrombophlebitis?
The main symptoms of this disorder are:
- Calf pain especially when pressure is applied to the sole of the foot.
- Swelling of the affected leg and in severe cases to bluish coloration of the leg.
- Accumulation of fluid in the leg.
- Fever and tachycardia may appear.
However, in some cases deep thrombophlebitis begins in an overlapped manner with or without diffuse pain in the leg, so that only the diagnosis is made when a pulmonary embolism occurs.
Medical treatment of thrombophlebitis
When you are in the presence of this disorder you should go immediately to the doctor to avoid pulmonary embolism and sequelae, such as the so-called post-thrombotic syndrome.
The treatment carried out by the doctor in order to treat the formation of these clots can be made up of:
- Administration to the patient of anticoagulant medications.
- Clot dissolution can be performed by fibrinolytic drugs
- Ultimately, surgical intervention can be performed, thrombectomy. Depending on the location and the circumstances in which the clot appeared.
To prevent or improve the evolution of the dreaded thrombophlebitis there are certain suggestions to follow:
- Avoid sitting or standing activities that last more than an hour. In between a few steps or do at least some exercises of movements of the toes.
- Whenever possible, place your legs up.
- Walk barefoot where and when you can.
- If possible, wear comfortable shoes with low heels.
- People who frequently use shoes with a heel of more than 6 centimeters endanger the health of their legs and their veins.
- The shoes that keep the foot attached are preferable.
- Keep the blood circulation in shape through sports.
- It is recommended to stop smoking.
- Women over 35 should stop using oral contraceptive pills and choose another method.
- In the event of a unilateral swelling of a leg, the existence of a venous disorder should always be suspected.