1. Phlebitis can be (superficial). Superficial Phlebitis affects veins on the skin surface and is rarely serious. With proper phlebitis treatment, it can disappear. Note: Those who experience superficial phlebitis may also get deep vein thrombophlebitis. Medical evaluation is necessary.
2. Deep vein thrombophlebitis. This is a type of phlebitis which is more serious and affects the larger blood vessels deeply in the legs. Blood clots can form, break off and travel to the lungs. It’s called a pulmonary embolism and is a potentially life-threatening condition. This is so important it bares repeating. Pulmonary Embolism can become life-threatening.
3. Phlebitis can be prevented most of the time. After surgery, hospitals usually try to get the patient moving and walking as soon as possible. Leg exercises are suggested, especially during a long ride in a car or airplane. Good nursing hygiene is important such as removal of intravenous catheters. The last is to stop smoking! Compression stockings may be prescribed.
4. Treatment: Prevention of pulmonary embolism is key. Initially, patients may require hospitalization. However, the great majority of individuals suffering from deep vein thrombosis can be treated at home due to medical advances in treatment. Largely unnecessary, bed rest may, in some case, be prescribed to relieve symptoms. Anticoagulant therapy with low molecular weight heparin or fondaparinux is the basis of treatment.
5. Intravenious drugs, such as Tissue Plasminogen Activator, is being studied by medical practitioners and researchers interested in dissolving blood clots. Patients with blood clots that have been present less than 48 hours, may be prescribed these therapeutic treatments (thrombolytic, or fibrinolytic, drugs). Blood clots are less likely to dissolve due to the possibility of scar tissue developing in clots that have been present 48 hours or longer.
6. Pain located in a vein, may be phlebitis and should precipitate a trip to the doctor for possible treatment. Ignoring the pain may have dire consequences arising from phlebitis left untreated. This can be serious. One indication of phlebitis that is skin discoloration lying above an inflamed vein. The discoloration will be reddish or pink. Some will experience the severe pain and high fever frequently associated with phlebitis.
7. A good practice, for anyone with varicose veins or anyone who has experienced the symptoms of phlebitis, is to have a check performed for venous insufficiency. An ultrasound technician or doctor will complete a careful examination. Recurrent episodes are a danger when phlebitis is left untreated. The condition of venous insufficiency can be treated when found and diagnosed. Treatment is minimally invasive with the procedures used today, such as the VNUS Closure Procedure. These treatments are pain free and lead the patient to a speedy recovery.