What is phlebitis?
Phlebitis is the term used to describe the inflammation of a vein. When the source of that inflammation is a blood clot or thrombus, it becomes thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis can affect both deep and superficial veins.
Superficial phlebitis is more likely to develop in patients that have varicose veins or that have experienced vascular trauma (damage to the blood vessel wall). While superficial thrombophlebitis can be very painful, it is generally not life threatening. Thrombophlebitis in the deep veins is a serious condition and is referred to as deep vein thrombus (DVT).
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms for superficial phlebitis may be worse when your leg is lowered, such as when getting out of bed.
Symptoms of superficial phlebitis may include:
- Obvious inflammation with a red streak along the path of the vein
- Localized tenderness near the inflammation
- A warm sensation associated with the inflammation
- The skin around the vein might be itchy or swollen
How are they treated?
Quick, effective outpatient visits treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.
We treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. We start by identifying the problem with an ultrasound study of the legs. Once the bad veins are identified, we discuss the various treatment options and tell you which ones we think are the best for you.
If there aren’t any complications, superficial phlebitis can be treated with compression stocking therapy and possibly some anti-inflammatory medication. If you have a history of DVT, or if the phlebitis might spread to deep veins, you may need to take a blood thinner.
The Vein Center of Arizona offers patients a wide variety of treatment options:
Comprehensive Treatment Plan
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Endovenous Laser Treatment