What is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?
We use the term Superficial Thrombophlebitis to describe clots forming in the superficial veins. This most frequently occurs in patients who have large varicose veins, but may be an indication that a person has an underlying tendency to from blood clots. This is usually treated with anti inflammatory medication, heat and compression, in the acute phase. Once the inflammation resolves, the veins are dealt with.
Unlike Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which refers to blood clots in deep veins, beneath the muscle, Superficial Thrombophlebitis refers to inflammation with blood clots in the superficial veins, usually just beneath the skin surface. Even though the process occurs in the superficial veins, and is thought to be benign and self-limited, it may be more significant than once thought.
How Common is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?
Superficial Thrombophlebitis is actually a rather common problem and can be very painful. It can on rare occasion, develop into a DVT, so scheduling an appointment can help prevent a common problem from being misdiagnosed or developing into something worse.
When should I suspect that I might have Superficial Thrombophlebitis?
If you have had varicose veins for years without any significant symptoms, and then they become red, hard and painful, then there is a good likelihood that you have superficial thrombophlebitis. You will usually find it in the leg, although it can occur in the arms and neck as well. If you experience an unusual sensation as described above, evaluation is a good idea.
What causes Superficial Thrombophlebitis to Develop?
Superficial Thrombophlebitis is usually associated with varicose veins. Like other blood clots, it is thought to occur when blood is stagnant, after trauma to a vein or if someone has a condition, which makes them more prone to form clots. Such a condition may be due to an inherited blood clotting disorder, or it could be secondary to an underlying but undiagnosed disease process.
How Do You Treat Superficial Thrombophlebitis?
Although treatment is usually anti-inflammatory medication, heat, compression, and elevation, in the acute phase, self-diagnosis can be dangerous. Sometimes blood thinners are required and further evaluation may be necessary.
Vein Treatment Options for Superficial Thrombophlebitis in Houston
Dr. Bardwil will monitor you while the veins are inflamed. Once the inflammation resolves, the veins can be further evaluated and underlying vein problems can be treated.
Dr. Bardwil has meticulously written or reviewed all the website content, ensuring that all the medical facts in the text are correct.