Middle age man in airplane seat.

Phlebitis & Thrombosis

Phlebitis and thrombosis, sometimes referred to as superficial vein phlebitis and superficial vein thrombosis, are conditions that affect the veins close to the skin, primarily in the leg. Phlebitis is inflammation of the veins and thrombosis is a blood clot in the vein. The combination of the two—inflammation and a blood clot—is called thrombophlebitis. These conditions are related to a more serious condition, deep vein thrombosis (DVT).


Risk factors for phlebitis and thrombosis include:
  • Varicose veins
  • Previous history of phlebitis
  • Prolonged periods of sitting (in a car, on an airplane, etc.)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hormones (during pregnancy or from estrogen contraceptives)
  • Smoking
If your doctor suspects you have phlebitis or thrombosis, you may be referred to CMC's Vein & Vascular Specialists for further evaluation and treatment.

diagnosis, treatment and technologies


Phlebitis and thrombosis can indicate more serious venous problems, including life-threatening DVT. For this reason, it is important to diagnose and treat these conditions. Ultrasound is most commonly used to screen for phlebitis and thrombosis.


Treatment for phlebitis and thrombosis generally focuses on alleviating the symptoms and includes heating and/or cooling of the affected area, elevating the affected limb, and taking over-the-counter pain medications. Special socks called compression stockings can also help. Clots that are detected closer to deep veins may be treated with a blood thinner. The best way to prevent phlebitis and thrombosis is to stay active and avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.


Vascular team

Our vascular physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and support staff bring extensive expertise and skill to each procedure, and take a personal interest in your well-being.

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