Thrombophlebitis is the name given to inflammation of the wall of a vein associated with thrombosis. Blood clots are the cause of thrombophlebitis. The condition typically occurs in the legs but can also occur in the arms.

Thrombophlebitis can cause irritation and pain and may prevent the blood flowing freely in the veins.

How is thrombophlebitis diagnosed?

For thrombophlebitis to be diagnosed, a doctor will examine the legs and look for affected veins on the surface of the skin to determine whether the patient has superficial thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis.

An ultrasound may be carried out over the surface of the leg to confirm whether the condition is thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis.

Blood tests are also taken to check for D dimer, a naturally occurring, clot-dissolving substance, which is elevated in people with blood clots. However, elevated D dimer levels can be present with other conditions, so a blood test is by no means a conclusive way to diagnose thrombophlebitis.

Treatment for thrombophlebitis

Applying heat to the affected area can help ease the pain and discomfort of thrombophlebitis. As can elevating the leg and using an anti-inflammatory drug. Compression stockings can also be effective in the treatment of thrombophlebitis as they can help prevent swelling and reduce the chances of deep vein thrombosis complications occurring.

Blood-thinning medications can be prescribed to patients with thrombophlebitis to help prevent the clots becoming larger. Clot-dissolving medications can help dissolve the blood clots.

Varicose vein stripping can be used to surgically remove varicose veins that are causing recurrent thrombophlebitis. This form of treatment involves removing the veins through small incisions.

If you need more advice about thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis and the different treatment options for these vascular conditions, get in touch with the vascular experts at The Vascular Consultancy.


Carrying surplus weight puts strain on many parts of the body, such as the heart, bones, lungs and muscles. Being overweight can also put you at an increased risk of developing arthritis, diabetes and mental health issues like depression.

There is another health concern of being overweight that can tend to be overlooked. – venous problems.

One common venous condition that can be influenced by weight is varicose veins. It is said around 20% of people develop visible varicose veins, while around 84% of the population have visible thread veins on their legs. But how much is the development and severity of this extremely common vascular disorder affected by weight?

Varicose veins and obesity

Carrying extra pounds places pressure on the veins, which means the veins are forced to work harder to send blood back to the heart. When the veins have to work harder, increased pressure is put on the valves, making them more susceptible to leaking.

The larger veins in the legs can bulge as a result of the blood not flowing freely towards the heart and getting trapped in the legs.

As the NHS notes, the affect one’s body weight has on varicose veins appears to be more significant in women.

While obesity and being overweight is a contributing factor in causing varicose veins, the common condition is associated with several other contributing factors, including genetics, pregnancy, age, hormonal mediations and occupations that require long periods of sitting or standing.

Preventing varicose veins

Losing excess weight and have a healthy BMI (body mass index) has a number of health benefits including good venous health. For individuals with varicose veins, losing weight could prevent the condition from worsening.

If you would like to talk to a vascular health specialist and discuss treatment options for varicose veins and other venous conditions, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in the effective treatment of varicose veins.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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