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Early superficial thrombophlebitis
Late superficial thrombophlebitis
Phlebitis is an inflammation and clot in a superficial veins.
It usually occurs following trivial trauma to pre-existing varicose veins, although there are other causes which need to be excluded.
Initially the inflamed vein is red, hot and very tender, but after a few weeks the discomfort settles and a residual hard cord is left with some brown skin staining.
There is up to a 25% chance that there is an underlying deep vein thrombosis and therefore when there is phlebitis a Duplex scan need to be undertaken to exclude a deep vein thrombosis
Treatment involves wearing graduated compression hosiery (www.pebbleuk.com) and taking adequate pain killers. Often antibiotics are given but these are not needed as this is not a cellulitis infection.
A more detailed review on phlebitis can be found on our blog