Thrombophlebitis is swelling (inflammation) of a vein caused by a blood clot.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The following increase your chances for thrombophlebitis:
- Being hospitalized for a major surgery or with a major illness
- Disorders that make you more likely to develop blood clots
- Sitting for a long period of time (such as on a long airplane trip)
There are two main types of thrombophlebitis:
- Deep venous thrombosis (affects deeper, larger veins)
- Superficial thrombophlebitis (affects veins near the skin surface)
Pictures & ImagesDeep venous thrombosis, iliofemoral
This picture shows a red and swollen thigh and leg caused by a blood clot (thrombus) in the deep veins in the groin (iliofemoral veins) which prevents normal return of blood from the leg to the heart.
Venous blood clot
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) affects mainly the veins in the lower leg and the thigh. It involves the formation of a clot (thrombus) in the larger veins of the area.
Review Date : 5/4/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.