How Is Phlebitis in the Leg Treated?


Quick Answer

Treatment of phlebitis varies depending on the severity of the condition, explains WebMD. If the condition has affected the superficial blood vessel, it may clear up within a week or two. For other cases, doctors recommend self-care measures such as applying heat to the leg, using over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and elevating the leg, states Mayo Clinic. Patients may use other measures and medications including blood-thinning medications, filters, varicose vein stripping, compression stockings and clot-dissolving medications.

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Full Answer

Treatments focus on managing pain and swelling, explains WebMD. Doctors recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin and applying heat to the leg for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Wearing stockings or support hose applies pressure to the leg, helping reduce pain. Elevating the leg helps prevent excess fluid from building up in the affected area.

Doctors recommend blood-thinning medications for patients who are suffering deep vein thrombosis to prevent enlargement of clots, says Mayo Clinic. Clot-dissolving drugs, such as alteplase, help dissolve clots, especially in advanced deep vein thrombosis. Patients who can't use blood thinners can have a filter inserted in the vena cava to prevent clots from the leg from reaching the lungs. The doctor may recommend varicose vein stripping to remove veins that are causing pain in the leg.

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