Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Phlebitis (fle-BYE-tis) is a condition in which a vein becomes inflamed (phleb=vein + it is=inflammation). The inflammation may cause pain and swelling. When the inflammation is caused by a blood clot or thrombus, it is called thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis usually occurs in leg veins, but it may also affect the veins in the arms.
There are two sets of veins in the arms and legs, 1) the superficial veins that run just under the skin, and
2) the deep veins.
Superficial phlebitis affects veins on the skin surface. The condition is rarely serious and usually resolves with local treatment of the inflammation with warm compresses and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes superficial phlebitis can be associated with deep vein thrombophlebitis and medical evaluation may be needed.
Phlebitis in the deep veins is referred to as deep vein thrombophlebitis (or DVT, deep vein thrombosis) affects the veins located deeper in the arms and legs. Blood clots (thrombi) that form may embolize or break off and travel to the lungs. This is a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) refers to a blood clot embedded in one of the major deep veins of the lower legs, thighs, or pelvis. A clot blocks blood circulation through these veins, which carry blood from the lower body back to the heart. The blockage can cause acute pain, swelling, or warmth in the affected leg. Blood clots in the veins can cause inflammation (irritation) called thrombophlebitis.