Thrombophlebitis is an inflammation or swelling of the veins. This inflammation is caused by blood clots that occur in the veins. Generally, thrombophlebitis occurs in the veins in the legs. However, it is possible that this condition can attack the veins of the hands or neck.
Types and Complications of Thrombophlebitis
Thrombophlebitis can appear beneath the surface of the skin as well as in the deeper parts. Locations of occurrences that form the basis of this type of thrombophlebitis. The deeper vein thrombophlebitis is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition has the risk of more dangerous complications because the blood clots can rupture and enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to serious illness that can even be life-threatening. For example, if a blood clot reaches the lung area and clogs the pulmonary blood circulation it can lead to death. A number of other possible complications also include:
- Severe swelling and pain so that the affected part of the body can not be moved.
- Skin color changes in areas affected by DVT-exposed veins. Chronic swelling will depress the skin from the inside. Over time can occur ulcers wound on the color changing areas of the skin.
- The formation of varicose veins.
Symptoms of Thrombophlebitis
Both thrombophlebitis is characterized by common symptoms such as swelling and pain in the inflamed part. Especially for thrombophlebitis that occurs beneath the surface of the skin, there are other indications such as the skin over the veiled vein being red or darker, feeling warm, sensitive when pressed, and a vein that looks like a hardened red and painful string when pressed.
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult and consult your doctor. For those who experience an indication of DVT accompanied by chest pain when inhaling or shortness of breath, are expected to go to the hospital immediately.
- Causes and Risk Factors of Thrombophlebitis
- Blood clots are the cause behind thrombophlebitis. Such clots can be triggered by a variety of things including:
- Age . Elderly people over 60 years have a higher risk of thrombophlebitis.
- Certain abnormalities , such as blood clotting disorders. This disorder is generally a hereditary disease.
- Too long silence , for example continue to sit in the car or bus on the way out of town, and too long lay because of severe pain.
- Paralyzed hands or feet , for example because of a stroke.
- Using pacemaker or catheter inside the veins . Catheters can irritate the vessel wall and decrease blood flow.
- Hormonal changes , for example because of using contraceptive drugs or hormone replacement therapy.
- Pregnancy . Pregnant women usually develop thrombophlebitis during pregnancy or after childbirth.
- Obesity .
- Smoking .
- History of family members who have also suffered from thrombophlebitis .
- Obesity and smoking will not only increase the risk of thrombophlebitis, but also other diseases.
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Diagnosis of Thrombophlebitis
In addition to asking for symptoms, checking your skin condition, and your medical history and family, your doctor will also recommend a series of more detailed examinations. In general, the suggested tests include blood tests, ultrasound, and CT scans .
The detailed examination aims to confirm the diagnosis as well as check whether you have thrombophlebitis just beneath the surface of the skin or on the inside vein as well.
Treatment Methods of Thrombophlebitis
Treatment for thrombophlebitis has a variety of ways. In general, this treatment is determined by the type and severity of venous inflammation experienced by the patient.
For thrombophlebitis that occurs beneath the skin surface, treatment can be done at home with the following simple steps:
- Compresses the affected area with warm water.
- Put your feet in a higher position during sleep or sitting.
- Avoiding the burden or pressure on the affected part so thrombophlebitis does not get worse.
- Use drugs, such as painkillers (analgesics) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). In addition to relieving the pain, NSAIDs can also reduce swelling.
- While DVT requires a more specific handling methods. Among others are:
- Anticoagulants or blood-thinning medications to prevent further blood clots.
- Blood clot breaks.
Doctors can also encourage patients to wear compression stockings as recommended by a doctor. This procedure will prevent swelling coming back at once while lowering the risk of complications. In addition, varicose veins that cause pain or recurrence of thrombophlebitis can be removed surgically.
Prevention of Thrombophlebitis
Preventing of course is better than cure. Likewise in diseases such as thrombophlebitis.
There are a number of simple ways we can do to prevent thrombophlebitis. For example by avoiding tight clothing, moving a lot, and consume non-alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration.