phlebitis

Phlebitis

 

Superficial Phlebitis and Acute Thrombophlebitis

 
What Is Phlebitis?

Up to a fourth of all patients with varicose veins and lower extremity venous insufficiency will have an episode of clotting of a varicosity. This can be nearly invisible or can be located just underneath the skin.  This condition is called acute superficial thrombophlebitis. The condition causes pain and discomfort but is usually self-limiting. It should, however, be differentiated and monitored to prevent conversion to a more serious condition of deep vein thrombosis.  Deep vein thrombosis involves clot migration or formation in the deep veins of the leg, a potentially life-threatening situation.

Symptoms of Acute Superficial Thrombophlebitis

Symptoms of acute superficial thrombophlebitis include pain, tenderness, increased warmth, swelling, hardening of the overlying skin and inflammation in the area of the thrombosis. Anyone suspected of having acute thrombophlebitis should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible. The focus would be to exclude a clot involving the deep venous system (DVT). After exclusion of the more serious DVT condition, recommendations can be made to treat superficial thrombophlebitis conservatively with therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and close follow-up.

A lower extremity ultrasound which is readily available at Precision will help diagnose the condition quickly and accurately.