Superficial Thrombophlebitis: Treatment Options
Overview Symptoms & Diagnosis Treatment Options Doctors Who Treat Resources & Patient Info
What are the treatment options for patients with superficial thrombophlebitis?
The main goal when you begin treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis is to control pain and inflammation. Treatment includes:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
Leg elevation when you are resting
Staying active and not sitting for too long
Other medical treatments:
Most times, treatment for patients with superficial thrombophlebitis includes only ways to manage pain and inflammation. But, if you are at risk of developing a DVT or have problems that affect the way your blood clots, you will likely need to take anticoagulation medication.
In most cases, superficial thrombophlebitis clears up within a few weeks.
When is surgery necessary for phlebitis?
If you have superficial thrombophlebitis and varicose veins, your doctor may talk to you about surgical treatment. The combination of these conditions puts you at greater risk of having superficial thrombophlebitis after the condition clears up. The best way to reduce this risk is to use surgery or endovenous therapy to take care of the varicose veins and keep them from returning. These procedures are performed by a vascular specialist in either the hospital or an outpatient surgery center.
Types of surgery include:
Endovenous ablation. A special catheter (long, thin tube) is placed in the saphenous vein (the longest vein in your body; it runs along the inside of your leg). The catheter is inserted by making a small puncture in your calf. Once it is in place, electric currents (radiofrequency) or laser energy is sent through the catheter to the area of the vein. This stops the backward blood flow in the vein that leads to varicose veins. Your doctor may also combine this procedure with another to remove large varicose veins through very small incisions (ambulatory phlebectomy).
Endovenous ablation is a less painful and less invasive alternative to surgical ligation and stripping, which is rarely used anymore.
Sclerotherapy. A solution is injected directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. This treatment is performed in the office by a vascular specialist or surgeon. It does not involve a hospital stay. Many times, the doctor will perform sclerotherapy along with endovenous ablation to take care of all varicose veins in the leg.
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment for you.
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