Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the major deep veins, usually of the lower legs, thighs, or pelvis. A clot blocks blood circulation through these veins, which carries blood from the lower body back to the heart. The blockage can cause pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg. Blood clots in the veins can cause inflammation called thrombophlebitis. If the clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream, it can block a blood vessel in the lungs. Called pulmonary embolism, this can lead to severe trouble breathing and even death.
In the U.S., between 300,000 and 600,000 people per year get deep vein thrombosis. About 100,000 people die each year from pulmonary embolism.
Thrombophlebitis occurs mostly in the legs. It's a circulatory problem that develops when a blood clot slows the circulation in a vein, either right under the skin or deeper in the leg.
The name gives you a hint about what it is: "thrombo" means clot, and "phlebitis" means a vein with inflammation, or the swelling and irritation that happens as the result of an injury.
With thrombophlebitis (pronounced thrahm-bow-fleh-bye-tis), a blocked vein in the leg may become swollen, irritated, and...