More commonly known as venous thrombosis, is a cardiovascular disorder due to blockage of a vein by a blood clot, most often in the leg and calf. The point on this pathology.
The phlebitis , also known as venous thrombosis, is due to the formation of a blood clot in the leg (thrombosis), fully or partially blocking the circulation. If it can occur anywhere in the body, it most commonly occurs in the legs. There are two types depending on the affected vein and the degree of severity:
The superficial phlebitis affects veins that lie just under the skin, usually at a varicose vein . The clot is small and does not pose a health risk.
The deep phlebitis appears in the deep venous system, which feeds the muscles and tissues. There is more blood flow there and puts more pressure on the clot. It can then detach and reach the heart, where it can block one of the main arteries. Deep phlebitis causes many serious complications, such as pulmonary embolism , and requires immediate treatment in the hospital.
What are the Symptoms of Phlebitis?
Symptoms differ depending on the type of phlebitis. The superficial phlebitis is the most easily visible. There is swelling and hardening of the vein under the skin. The inflammation usually spreads over the surrounding skin area, making it painful and tender to the touch. Edema may also form .
Symptoms of deep phlebitis depend on the location of the blood clot. They are less marked and therefore harder to diagnose . There is usually a deep pain in the calf or thigh , a feeling of warmth, numbness in the leg and in some cases the appearance of edema. The patient experiences pain when lifting the ball of the foot up. This is called the Homans sign , characteristic of venous thrombosis.
What are the Causes and Reasons?
Some individuals have more predispositions than others. People with cancer and pregnant women thus see the risk of contracting phlebitis multiplied by 4. People suffering from venous insufficiency (nervous system failure) or cardiac problems (pacemaker) are also more at risk than average. In addition, a long period of immobility (air travel), prolonged bed rest, smoking, age and obesity also have a role in the development of phlebitis.
What are the Treatments?
In case of deep phlebitis, treatment with anticoagulant drugs should be prescribed immediately. Their purpose is to dissolve the blood clot. The most used are low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and anti vitamin K (AVK).
A venous medical compression is also put in place from the first days, in order to protect the skin and optimize the distribution of pressure. It consists of wearing stockings or compression bands for several months to prevent possible complications – like post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), which can go as far as a venous leg ulcer .
Superficial phlebitis requires only local treatment . A prolonged rest with elevation of the leg is in most cases sufficient for healing.