Phlebitis in the top skin veins usually is treated over a week or two with anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, leg elevation and warm compresses to reduce swelling. More severe cases may require a hospital visit with more targeted drugs like blood thinners to help dissolve the clot or antibiotics to cure infection. These patients will require follow-up for several months to monitor ongoing drug treatment.
For phlebitis in the deeper veins, called thrombophlebitis, treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. It may require:
- Antibiotics to kill infection
- Surgery to remove the vein or bypass the clot and a transplant blood vessel
- A filter placement in the abdomen’s main vein to prevent clots in the legs from dislodging and traveling to the lungs, which can be life threatening