by Amy Scholten, MPH
Superficial thrombophlebitis is inflammation of a vein close to the skin surface. It happens most often in the leg. The condition is easily treatable. But, it can lead to more serious health problems.
This condition is caused by a blood clot forming in the vein.
Superficial thrombophlebitis is more common in women. The risk is higher in those aged 60 years or older. Other things that raise the risk are:
Symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis may be:
It can lead to problems such as:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Imaging tests will be done to diagnose the condition. They may include:
Superficial thrombophlebitis often goes away on its own in a few weeks. If needed, treatment may involve:
The risk of having this problem may be lowered by:
American College of Phlebology
Society for Vascular Surgery
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
Heit JA, Spencer FA, White RH. The epidemiology of venous thromboembolism. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2016;41(1):3-14.
Superficial vein thrombosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/superficial-vein-thrombosis-svt. Accessed July 21, 2021.
Superficial venous thrombosis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/peripheral-venous-disorders/superficial-venous-thrombosis. Accessed July 21, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 7/21/2021