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What is Phlebitis?
Phlebitis or deep venous thrombophlebitis means blood clots in the veins of the legs. This condition is serious for two reasons. Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs can break loose and got to the heart and lungs (a pulmonary embolus), which can be a life threatening problem. A secondary problem caused by thrombophlebitis is chronic venous insufficiency of the legs which can lead to chronic swelling, pain, and ulcerations of the legs. Thrombophlebitis usually causes pain and swelling of the legs and is diagnosed by ultrasound. Treatment is with anticoagulation (“blood thinners”), support hose and elevation. Surgery is rarely needed.