Learn about superficial thrombophlebitis and calf vein thrombosis and what our vein clinic can do for you.
What is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?
Within the system of veins, there are deep veins and superficial veins. The deep veins usually travel within the muscle compartments of the body. The deep veins within the legs carry blood directly back into the body and eventually back to the heart.
The superficial veins are veins that carry blood from the surface of the body (like the skin) back to the deep veins. These vessels are like the branches of a tree: they come in many shapes and sizes, and typically get bigger as they get closer to the ‘trunk veins,’ which are deep veins.
Thrombosis means blood has clotted within a vessel. This highly affects your vein care and vein health.
Phlebitis means a vessel is inflamed or irritated. This is often associated with pain, redness, and increased warmth over the vessel.
Thrombophlebitis means that both a thrombus (blood clot) and a phlebitis (vessel inflammation) are present
What is Calf Vein Thrombosis?
Signs and symptoms
Risk factors for DVT include:
Superficial thrombophlebitis typically has symptoms, as phlebitis is a prominent feature. Redness, swelling, and pain along the course of the vein are the usual symptoms. Occasionally, a low grade fever and general aching occur along with the phlebitis symptoms. Clinical examination by your vein doctor and ultrasound examination are used to confirm the diagnosis. Up to 25 percent of the time, a DVT is associated with a superficial thrombophlebitis.
The treatment for DVT, calf vein thrombosis, and superficial thrombophlebitis depends, at least to a certain degree, on the location of the blood clot. Some of the options for treatment of a blood clot include:
Anti-inflammatory medication (like ibuprofen/motrin/advil)
these reduce swelling, may keep the clot from getting larger, and decrease the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome from developing after large clots. It is best to wear compression stockings for 2 years after a large blood clot has been diagnosed to decrease the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome.
Ice and elevation
Varicose veins and blood clots
Varicose veins increase the risk of both superficial thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis. To decrease your risk of blood clots, you should see a vein specialist to discuss options for vein care treatment of your vein conditions. Fortunately, the treatment of varicose veins no longer requires hospitalization, general anesthesia, or significant down-time from work or your routine. Contact our vein clinic to schedule a free screening to ensure that your healthy legs can keep you moving for years to come. We will be ready to help you with vein care and vein health!