Phlebitis Treated by Vascular Specialists in Baltimore

The Vascular Center at Mercy

The Vascular Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, offers comprehensive care by a skilled group of vascular surgeons. Our doctors are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disorders including phlebitis.

About the Condition

Phlebitis, sometimes called thrombophlebitis, is an inflammation or blood clot in a vein. Phlebitis can occur in top surface veins that you can see on your skin or in deep veins in the body. Typically, phlebitis occurs in the legs and can cause pain and irritation and may block blood flow. 

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

There may be no symptoms of phlebitis for some people. Others may notice:

  • Slow development of a red, tender, hard or warm to the touch area along a vein which may burn or throb.
  • Itchy or swollen skin located around a vein
  • A long, thin red area along a vein
  • A low grade fever
  • Worse symptoms first thing in the morning when legs first hit the ground
  • If untreated, skin discoloration and the formation of ulcers
  • Pain and swelling throughout the entire limb

Phlebitis requires immediate care.  Doctors will examine your symptoms and review your medical history.  Doctors may require tests like:

  • A non-invasive ultrasound test to identify potential blood clots or blood flow blockages
  • A venogram procedure in which a dye is injected into the bloodstream and X-rays are used to view the flow of blood
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Phlebitis in the top skin veins usually is treated over a week or two with anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, leg elevation and warm compresses to reduce swelling. More severe cases may require a hospital visit with more targeted drugs like blood thinners to help dissolve the clot or antibiotics to cure infection. These patients will require follow-up for several months to monitor ongoing drug treatment.

For phlebitis in the deeper veins, called thrombophlebitis, treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. It may require:

  • Antibiotics to kill infection
  • Surgery to remove the vein or bypass the clot and a transplant blood vessel
  • A filter placement in the abdomen’s main vein to prevent clots in the legs from dislodging and traveling to the lungs, which can be life threatening
Meet Our Doctors: Vascular Center
The Vascular Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Paul Lucas, M.D.

A 2019 TOP DOC
Dr. Paul Lucas, Director of The Vascular Center at Mercy, leads a clinical team providing diagnosis and treatment for circulatory problems, including aneurysm, stroke, swelling of the leg and blockages.

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Patient Story:
Cheryl - Mercy Patient

Cheryl wears compression socks while working to help with venous insufficiency, a buildup of pressure in her legs.

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