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What Causes Phlebitis?

What Causes Phlebitis?

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Dr. Stephen Rivard


Every March, something known as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Month is recognized to educate the public on the prevention of blood clots and deep vein thrombophlebitis. Phlebitis simply means vein inflammation, however, when it occurs in the deep venous system it can lead to serious, even life-threatening - health concerns. DVT occurs as a result of venous hypertension and insufficiency that causes the veins in your legs to bulge.

When the vein valves become damaged the blood begins to pool in the veins which, if left untreated, can clot and create inflammation in the vein walls. Often these blood clots irritate the vein lining in one or more areas of your veins blocking venous blood flow. If the clot breaks from the vein lining it can travel to the heart or lungs causing a pulmonary embolism and can be fatal. 

Phlebitis can be caused by:

  • heredity,
  • long rest periods or inactivity, especially as the result of post-op orthopedic procedures,
  • trauma or sports related injuries to the leg that weakens or breaks the veins, and even
  • multiple pregnancies. 

Additionally, phlebitis, much like varicose veins can create many noticeable symptoms that can help avoid the possibilities of serious health problems. Large bulging veins are a clear sign of venous insufficiency, which can lead to DVT, but generally does not necessarily mean you have DVT.

Other symptoms include:

  • pain and swelling in the leg,
  • sudden onset of leg cramps or restless legs,
  • swelling,
  • redness, and/or
  • tightness of skin around the vein.

The important thing is to be guided by the symptoms and seek medical advice immediately if you notice that you have them. Vein disease is a serious condition and can negatively impact your overall wellbeing. Treatments for phlebitis are minimally invasive and highly effective (less than 2% recurrence).

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Tagged venous hypertension, phlebitis, phlebitis treatment, deep vein thrombosis, dvt, risk factors of dvt, causes of phlebitis


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