Superficial thrombophlebitis. Close-up of the leg of a 67-year-old male patient affected by superficial thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis is the inflammation of a vein with blood clot (thrombus) formation. Superficial refers to veins near the surface of the skin. The affected veins are tender to the touch. The condition can arise spontaneously, or as a complication of varicose veins, surgery or intravenous (IV) drug infusions. Here, it is as a result of IV chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Symptoms usually subside by themselves but anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken to relieve pain.
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