Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your risk of thrombophlebitis increases if you:
- Are inactive for a long period of time, such as from sitting in a car or an airplane
- Are confined to bed for a prolonged time, such as after surgery, after a heart attack or after an injury, such as breaking your leg
- Have a type of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, that may cause an increase of procoagulants — substances necessary for blood clotting (coagulation) — in your blood
- Have had a stroke that caused your arms or legs to be paralyzed
- Have a pacemaker or have a thin, flexible tube (catheter) in a central vein, for treatment of a medical condition, which may irritate the blood vessel wall and decrease blood flow
- Are pregnant or have just given birth, which may mean you have increased pressure in the veins of your pelvis and legs
- Use birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, which may make your blood more likely to clot
- Have a family history of a blood-clotting disorder or a tendency to form blood clots easily
- Are overweight or obese
- Are older than 60
The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of thrombophlebitis. If you have one or more risk factors, be sure to discuss prevention strategies with your doctor before long periods of inactivity, such as a long flight, a long car ride or after an elective surgery.
- Torpy JM, et al. Thrombophlebitis. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008;300:1718.
- Deep vein thrombosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Dvt/DVT_All.html. Accessed Nov. 3, 2010.
- Fernandez L, et al. Superficial thrombophlebitis of the lower extremity. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 2, 2010.
- Rodriguez-Peralto JL, et al. Superficial thrombophlebitis. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine & Surgery. 2007;26:71.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec07/ch081/ch081b.html#sec07-ch081-ch081b-1758. Accessed Nov. 3, 2010.
- Di Nisio M, et al. Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2007:CD004982.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 18, 2010.
- Pradaxa (prescribing information). Ridgefield, Conn.: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2010. http://bidocs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/BIWebAccess/ViewServlet.ser?docBase=renetnt&folderPath=/Prescribing%20Information/PIs/Pradaxa/Pradaxa.pdf. Nov. 18, 2010.