When there is a blood clot (thrombus) in the superficial vein system, it is called superficial phlebitis (thrombophlebitis superficialis). In the vast majority of cases, superficial phlebitis is found in the legs. It is much rarer in the arms and, in exceptional cases, in other parts of the body. Pre-existing pathological changes in the veins, such as varicose veins or a previous phlebitis, increase the risk of a new thrombotic event. Depending on the location, strand-like hardening, reddening of the skin with overheating and pain occur in the area of the affected vein and its surroundings.
Treatment of phlebitis:
By means of an ultrasound examination by a vein specialist, the exact diagnosis and the extent of the thrombosis can be determined. Therapy can be started immediately. As a rule, the therapy is done on an outpatient basis with blood-thinning medication. Compression therapy with compression stockings or compression bandages is also important. The duration and dose of blood thinning depend on the localisation and extent of the phlebitis and the individual risk profile of the person affected. The vein specialist will monitor the course of treatment using ultrasound.
DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS:
If there is a blood clot in the area of the deep vein, it is called deep vein thrombosis. In the vast majority of cases, the leg veins are affected, more rarely the arm veins. Thrombosis can be caused by a change in the composition of the blood (clotting of the blood) or by a slowing down of the blood flow in the vessel (e.g. prolonged confinement to bed). The main danger of thrombosis is that parts of the blood clot or even the entire blood clot will break off and be transported to the heart and then to the lungs. This is called a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. If the patient has a history of deep vein thrombosis and symptoms such as a feeling of pressure, swelling and discolouration of the leg, as well as pain and muscle ache, a vein specialist should be consulted immediately.
Treatment of deep vein thrombosis:
Ultrasound diagnostics can be used to determine the extent of the clot in the deep veins of the leg. Blood-thinning therapy is given either in the form of injections or tablets (modern anticoagulants). In addition, depending on the findings, compression therapy is carried out by means of compression stockings or the application of compression bandages. In most cases, the therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis. The duration and dose of blood thinning depend on the localisation and extent of the findings as well as the individual risk profile of the person affected. The leg that was once affected by a thrombosis has a higher risk of developing a thrombosis again, so regular checks by a vein specialist are necessary.