|Thrombophlebitis of superficial veins is described as inflammation of a vein associated with the formation of a clot or thrombus.|
In the upper part of the body the inflammation can be caused by an intravenous catheter or injection especially injections with dirty needles or syringes which are often features of drug abuse. In the leg, inflammation and thrombosis which indicates the formation of a clot is usually associated with varicose veins. It can occur spontaneously during pr shortly after pregnancy or following injury to the leg and may be associated with obstructive disease of the arteries of the leg. Occasionally it may be an early indication of abdominal cancer and your doctor should be consulted if you suspect a condition of thrombophlebitis.
Symptoms include pain, hardness and knotting of the vein, tenderness, redness and heat. Fever may be present. Inflammation of superficial veins in the leg can be associated with a clot in the deeper veins which can lead to swelling of the leg and even the spread of a clot to the lungs.
Treatment usually consists of analgesics for pain, local, elastic compression bandages and ambulation. Surgery may be necessary to tie off the vein if the inflammation is extensive and appears to be spreading upwards. bed rest and anticoagulant treatment is necessary if spread to deep veins occurs. Antibiotics are given if bacterial infection complicates the condition. Recurrent inflammation or phlebitis of superficial veins indicates the need for a surgical operation to remove the veins.
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