Risk Factors

What are the risk factors?

  • Prolonged immobility – post-opertively,
  • Stroke with paralysis of the legs of arms.
  • Resence of pace maker within a central vein which irritates the inner lining causing clot formation.
  • During pregnancy or after delivery when there is increased pressure in the leg veins.
  • Using birth pills or harmone replacement therpay which thickens the blood and makes it clot.
  • Family history of blood clotting disorder or tendency to form clots easily.
  • Inactivity for long periods of time like long travel in car or flight.
  • Age over 60 years
  • Having varicose veins which is the cause of superficial thrombophlebitis.

Could venous thrombophlebitis cause serious problems?

If there is involvement of only the superficial veins then the complications are rare. However if the deep veins are involved the complications may be life threatening or cause serious distress to the patient.

Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Here a part of the clot breaks and dislodges to the lungs blocking its main blood supply with the result there can be no exchange of oxygen which is vital for the survival of the brain and tissues of all organs. It is a life threatening emergency needing urgent management.

What is post-phlebetic syndrome?

This is a life long problem which follows long standing DVT and causes severe distress to the patient due to the permanent incompetence of the damaged venous valves. It mostly occurs months to years after DVT.

How does post-phlebetic syndrome present?

It causes disabling pain, swelling and heaviness in the affected leg. There is not much cure of this distressing condition and there is no surgical intervention possible till now.

Is there no cure for post-phlebetic syndrome?

The valves are permanently damaged in the deep veins due to DVT leading to their incompetence which means blood cannot move against gravity when we are standing. This leads to severe swelling responsible for distressing pain, discolouration of the ankles and finally ulcers. Much research is being done all over the world for valve replacement but the results are poor and failure rate high.