Vein Care Center

Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST) Treatment

Superficial thrombophlebitis, referred to as ST, is a relatively easy condition to treat, very often with minimal lifestyle changes and a careful follow-up with a vein specialist. The blood clot causing the pain may be reduced so that you don’t end up needing further interventions. If left untreated, ST can turn into a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that can become life-threatening. Don’t take chances with your life or your blood vessels. Call one of the experienced vein doctors at the Vein Care Center, with convenient hours and locations throughout New York City and New Jersey.

    What Is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

    Superficial thrombophlebitis (ST) is a condition caused by an inflammation in a vein just beneath the skin because of a blood clot. This is a common condition affecting the legs, but can also affect the arms or neck. Unlike a deep vein thrombosis, the risk of the blood clot reaching the lungs is much lower.

    Superficial veins play a critical role in the circulatory system. They help transport blood back to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation. These veins also help cool the body in response to the environment with blood from deep veins. The blood clots that lead to thrombophlebitis cause inflammation of the blood vessels, leading to pain, swelling and other uncomfortable symptoms.

    Visit the Vein Care Clinic, with offices in Greenwich Village, Midtown Manhattan, Upper East Side, and the Financial District in New York City, as well as in East Brunswick, Englewood Cliffs, Paramus, Riverdale, and Cranford in New Jersey. Their experienced vein doctors, led by Dr. Jonathan Arad use advanced medical technology for the diagnosis and treatment of venous diseases and multiple vein conditions, including ST.

    Superficial Thrombophlebitis

    How Does Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST) Develop?

    When there is a blood clot, also referred to as a thrombus, in a superficial vein, the risk of inflammation increases. Doctors diagnose the reaction in the walls of the vein and surrounding tissues as superficial thrombophlebitis also called superficial venous thrombosis. Several factors can lead to the development of ST, including:

    • Varicose veins, because the pooling of blood makes these veins vulnerable to minor injuries
    • Improper skin injections from treatments by inexperienced medical professionals, when the needle injures a blood vessel and causes inflammation
    • A previous vein condition, including superficial thrombophlebitis or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    • Medications that increase the risk of blood clotting, such as birth control pills
    • Cancer and cancer treatments like chemotherapy
    • Smoking cigarettes
    • Pregnancy
    • Childbirth, usually within six weeks after giving birth
    • Hereditary factors, if your family has a history of blood disorders and poor blood clotting
    • Extended periods of immobility, such as on long drives and airplane flights
    • Complications with blood clotting after a major surgery
    • Trauma caused by an injury leading to problems with your blood flow
    • Advanced age, often showing up after the age of 40
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Having a central venous catheter treatment
    • Pacemaker

    The blood clot and inflammation in superficial veins can occur directly because of these factors or they may make a blood clot more likely, increasing the risk. There is also the risk of infection if you had a drip inserted into a vein incorrectly. That is why it is imperative that you seek vein and ST treatment from an expert in vein treatments at the Vein Care Center.

    Am I Suffering from Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

    Your experienced vein doctor considers your symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis, examines your medical history and carries out necessary tests, including a vascular ultrasound, to determine the exact cause of your discomfort. Common symptoms of ST include:

    • Sudden swelling of a leg or arm
    • Tenderness and pain in the area around the clot, with pain worsening if you press on the area
    • Aching and dull pain in your leg or arm
    • Redness, discoloration and inflammation of the skin where the clot develops
    • Feeling of increased warmth on the skin
    • Hardening of the blocked or inflamed vein

    These symptoms point to the development of a blood clot and inflammation of the walls of the affected blood vein. If not treated, the superficial thrombophlebitis can worsen into deep vein thrombosis if the clot moves to the deeper veins.

    "Vein Care Center doctors and staff are the best professionals in a medical office. They make the effort and take time to make sure all your questions are answered. Doctor made the procedure smooth and pain free.

    Monica S.

    What is the Treatment for Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

    During your vein consultation, your doctor identifies the underlying cause of your superficial vein inflammation before starting treatment. Extensive diagnosis is critical to form an individualized treatment plan that may include:

    • Embracing an active lifestyle to promote smooth blood flow
    • Taking medications such as painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation
    • Applying anti-inflammatory gels or creams
    • Elevating your legs to boost blood flow
    • Wearing compression stockings to reduce swelling, ease discomfort and reduce the pain
    • Using a warm compress to relieve pain and discomfort
    • Undergoing endovenous laser ablation (EVLA or EVLT) or endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
    • Receiving sclerotherapy treatment
    • Allowing your doctor, as a last resort, to perform excision and surgical ligation, anticoagulation, or puncture and evacuation

    At the Vein Care Center, the vein specialists use the latest medical technology and approaches for treatment of vein conditions. With the correct diagnosis, the vein specialists offer an individualized treatment plan for better outcomes for treating ST. Contact the nearest office today before you suffer any further consequences.

    Page Updated on Dec 19, 2022 by Dr. Arad (Vein Doctor) of Vein Care Center