Superficial Thrombophlebitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

by | Jul 8, 2022 | Blog, Vein Care, Vein Treatment

Superficial thrombophlebitis is a disorder in which a clot forms in one or more of your body’s superficial veins. These are the more visible veins because they are just beneath the skin. It can be unpleasant and necessitate medical attention. In this post, we will look at how it is diagnosed and some of the various therapies.

What Is Superficial Thrombophlebitis and How Does It Affect the Body?

Phlebitis is the medical term for a painful, red, and inflamed vein. Thrombophlebitis suggests the existence of a blood clot in a vein (thromboembolism), resulting in edema and pain.

A superficial thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein just under the skin. If it occurs in a vein close to the body’s surface, it is also known as superficial thrombophlebitis or superficial venous thrombosis. This type of clot typically does not reach the lungs unless it reaches the deep veins.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

An arm or leg injury, as well as having an intravenous(IV) line, can cause superficial thrombophlebitis. The same risk factors for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) also increase the likelihood of this condition.

This hereditary disorder increases your risk of getting blood clots (family). This can be caused by cancer and various cancer treatments (chemotherapy). Your blood flow is reduced because of an accident, surgery, or inactivity.
It is crucial to keep your feet active as you age! Long durations of standing still can restrict blood flow to the legs, according to the Harvard Medical School. Here are several frequent conditions that may trigger this issue:

  • Sitting for extended periods in a car, large truck, bus, train, or airplane.
  • Surgical procedures or serious injuries.
  • Pregnancy and the initial two months following delivery.
  • Being above age 40.
  • Obesity.
  • Taking contraceptives or hormone therapy, particularly for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
  • Installing a central venous catheter.

What Does Superficial Thrombophlebitis Feel Like?

Swelling, soreness, or tenderness in the area of the clot (which can happen quickly in some cases), warmth where the clot is, increased sensitivity to heat, and red or discolored skin in the affected area are all signs of this disease.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical assistance immediately, since it can progress to a more serious illness.

If left untreated, superficial thrombophlebitis can develop into a life-threatening deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Typically, superficial thrombophlebitis is treated with compression stockings, the elevation of the affected limb, and over-the-counter painkillers.

In some cases, your doctor might also recommend antibiotics or anticoagulants. If you are worried about developing superficial thrombophlebitis, get in touch with us to reduce your risk.

How Do We Test for Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

Your doctor may diagnose you with superficial thrombophlebitis based on a physical examination. Nonetheless, vascular ultrasonography is essential for diagnosis. Twenty percent of patients develop a deep vein thrombosis, making ultrasound imaging necessary.

Patients with superficial thrombophlebitis frequently delay medical attention, mistaking their condition for a muscle strain or sprain. Without ultrasound, the physician may potentially attribute the ailment to a muscle issue.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis Treatment

The primary objective of the treatment is to minimize discomfort and inflammation.

Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medicines (NSAIDs) are utilized in the treatment of superficial thrombophlebitis. Warm compresses can assist in alleviating discomfort.

For inflammation and edema, rest with your legs elevated. Compression stockings are an alternative choice. While wearing compression socks, it is essential to get up and move around every hour or so. Physical activity is also crucial.

Typically, the treatment for comprises pain and inflammation relief. If you are at risk of getting deep vein thrombosis or have conditions that impact how your blood clots, you will likely need anticoagulant therapy.

When Is Phlebitis Surgery Necessary?

If your physician diagnoses you with superficial thrombophlebitis and varicose veins, he or she may recommend surgical treatment. After the inflammation subsides, you are at a greater risk of getting superficial thrombophlebitis due to the combined effects of these conditions.

The most effective way to avoid this risk is to treat varicose veins with surgery or endovascular therapy. These procedures will be performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center by an avascular specialist.

Schedule A Consultation

We are experts in vein health here at the Center for Advanced Vein Care. Our vein specialists can assist you in treating and managing your vein disease so that you may continue to fully enjoy your life. Please get in touch with our Florida vein clinic right away. You can also check out the varicose veins and blood clots for more insights.
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