Your doctor will question you about your pain and check for damaged veins near the surface of your skin to diagnose thrombophlebitis. However, to determine if you have deep vein or superficial thrombosis, your doctor may order an ultrasound.
During the ultrasound, sound waves are sent into your leg via a wand-like instrument (transducer). Then, a computer converts the sound waves that pass through your leg tissue into a moving picture on a television screen.
Furthermore, a blood test helps diagnose and differentiate deep vein and superficial thrombosis. Almost everyone with a clot has increased levels of D dimer, a naturally occurring clot-dissolving chemical. There are additional reasons for D dimer elevation. So, a D dimer test isn’t definitive but may point to further testing.
It may also rule out DVT and identify individuals at risk of thrombophlebitis.
If you have superficial thrombophlebitis, your doctor may recommend using heat or taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It generally gets better on its own.
Moreover, for both types of thrombophlebitis, your doctor may additionally recommend the following treatment:
Blood-thinning medications. An anticoagulant drug may be beneficial if you have DVT. It will most likely instruct you to take warfarin (Coumadin) or rivaroxaban (Xarelto) for many months following the first therapy.
Other treatments include:
- Compression stockings
- Varicose vein stripping
- Clot-dissolving medications
- Vena cava filter