DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine you. He or she may also ask you about your medical history. He/she will usually be able to diagnose superficial thrombophlebitis just from examining you and asking about your symptoms. However, you may need to have tests to rule out DVT, which may include a D-dimer blood test. This measures a substance that develops when a blood clot breaks down. If this is negative it's unlikely that you have a DVT.TreatmentSuperficial thrombophlebitis usually goes away on its own. You may have symptoms, especially tenderness, for weeks or several months. However, there are a number of treatments to ease your symptoms.Self-help treatments include:MedicinesPainkillers may help to ease any pain you have. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are most often used to treat pain from superficial thrombophlebitis. As well as in tablet form, NSAIDs are available as creams or gels, such as ibuprofen gel. These are only suitable if your superficial thrombophlebitis is mild and only affects a small area of the vein. Paracetamol is an alternative if you can't take NSAIDs. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice.If your doctor thinks you have septic superficial thrombophlebitis from a bacterial infection, you may be given antibiotics such as flucloxacillin, erythromycin or clarithromycin. You will usually be given these medicines at your GP surgery, but you may need to go to hospital to have them intravenously (directly into a vein). Always ask your doctor for advice and read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.Non-surgical treatmentsYour doctor may prescribe compression stockings for superficial thrombophlebitis to relieve any swelling and provide comfort.SurgeryIf you have varicose veins and you continue to have superficial thrombophlebitis symptoms or you have a large number of varicose veins, surgery may be an option to remove them. Ask your doctor for advice.
You could consider having your varicose vein removed. Superficial thrombophlebitis is more likely to occur or come back if you have varicose veins. If the veins are removed you’re less likely to have superficial thrombophlebitis again.There are a variety of treatments for varicose veins such as ligation and stripping surgery, foam or liquid sclerotherapy and laser ablation treatment. Removal doesn't prevent superficial thrombophlebitis occurring in other leg veins though.
This information is published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on
reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical
or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not
reflect any presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general
information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health
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