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Thrombophlebitis is inflammation of a vein caused by a clot (thrombosis). Deep-vein thrombophlebitis, when the inflammation stems from a clot that's in a vein under layers of muscle, carries a serious risk of pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blood clot in the lungs. Thrombophlebitis often, though not always, occurs in the legs.

Thrombophlebitis: What You Need to Know

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  • Inflammation from a clot in a surface vein is not usually dangerous but may cause redness and swelling of the vein.
  • People may be at risk who have had recent surgery or an injury to the leg, have recently given birth, have damaged veins or a high likelihood of clotting.
  • Another cause is being immobile for a long time. Compression stockings may help prevent a clot by improving circulation in your legs if you are immobile due to airplane travel or bed rest.
  • The goal of treatment is to prevent the clot from growing or breaking off. Your doctor may also give you medication to protect you from future blood clots.

Prevention is far better than treatment. Consult your doctor if you are at risk due to a medical condition or if you are taking a long flight.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of thrombophlebitis?

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Our Physicians

Our vascular surgeons are at the forefront of diagnosis and treatment of thrombophlebitis.

Learn more about vascular treatments at Johns Hopkins.

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Our Specialty Centers

The Johns Hopkins Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory is one of the nation’s most elite vascular labs.

Learn more about vascular ultrasound.