The regional edema that often follows the onset of acute thrombophlebitis of an extremity is the expression of inadequate fluid drainage, and it would appear that the occlusion of the inflamed veins by thrombi is a major factor in the causation of the edema.
Several investigators have demonstrated that the surgical occlusion by ligature of the major veins draining a limb does not always result in the formation of edema, and that when edema occurs, it is often minimal and of short duration (Ranvier, Roger, Leriche, Young, and others).1,2
It has also been demonstrated that when the major venous channels of a limb are occluded, much of the drainage from the limb is taken over by the lymphatic system. Emminghaus in 1889 demonstrated that inflation of a cuff at the base of a limb, obstructing the venous return, resulted in a marked increase in the lymph drainage from the
DANESE C, DIAZ R, HOWARD JM. Changes in Lymphatics with Experimental Acute Thrombophlebitis. Arch Surg. 1963;86(1):5-12. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310070007002