Superficial Blood Clots and Endovenous Laser Ablation
Although Patrick’s physicians were right to be concerned, these particular clots are found in superficial veins, not deep veins, so these are not the dangerous, potentially lethal, deep venous thrombosis, or DVT that often break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. As such, they are more of an annoyance, and are treated supportively only, with conservative measures, including anti-inflammatories, moist, hot compresses, daily use of compression stockings, and continued movement (i.e. patients do not need to be at bed rest). Due to the common symptoms described above, they are often misdiagnosed as cellulitis, and patients are not uncommonly put on antibiotics, which are not necessary or indicated. While phlebitis is not a life-threatening DVT, the clots can progress, so treatment should be initiated and monitored, and any underlying cause, such as venous insufficiency, should be addressed, which Dr. Schwartz did through endovenous laser ablation.