Some patients may be noted to develop thrombophlebitis during the postoperative period.

Most of these patients have an infusion thrombophlebitis in a vein used in the perioperative period. The diagnosis is usually made in an upper extremity.


Risk factors for postoperative infusion thrombophlebitis:

(1) longer duration of intravenous catheter or needle residence (> 48 hours)

(2) infusion of caustic fluids or drugs (antibiotics, other)

(3) trauma to the infusion site.

(4) infection at the skin entry site

(5) female sex

(6) cannula tip damage

(7) hypercoagulability


Differential diagnosis:

(1) deep vein thrombosis due to surgery, immobilization and other risk factors

(2) thrombophlebitis developed prior to surgery.

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