Compression Stockings

Compression Stockings

What is Compression and why is my doctor recommending it?

Compression is the most commonly prescribed treatment for venous disease issues and with good reason – it works! Unfortunately, it works only temporarily. Compression is applied to the venous system from the ankle and then moving upward, compressing the veins at that point, and transferring the compression up the leg, thereby hoping to keep the valves in your leg in close proximity to each other. This in turn allows the valves to push blood upward to the heart, which is just what you want.

Though not a long term solution, and one that is downright uncomfortable in the warmer weather, compression stockings definitely have a place in helping you achieve a level of comfort and in reducing pain and slowing the disease progression. We insist on compression after most of our procedures for 5 days, and long term for chronic sufferers of venous disease. Here at The Advanced Vein & Vascular Center, we carry a variety of styles, types, and sizes of stockings and socks for one-stop shopping convenience. We recommend always wearing compression when flying, as the pressures exerted on the venous system from changes in elevation are considerable, and can be helped by wearing compression stockings. Flight attendants, airline employees such as those for Fedex and UPS, and pilots should consider compression stockings as part of their essential uniform.

What are compression stockings?

These are medical grade, knee-hi, thigh-high, and pantyhose socks and stockings that apply a high degree of “tightness” or pressure to your leg. Highly elastic, these are much tighter than everyday pantyhose or socks. They come in a variety of gradients, with most people who need them wearing “20-30- mmHg” or 30-40 mmHg”. (Remember your high school chemistry? That’s “millimeters of mercury” which is how compression is measured). The higher levels become very difficult to apply, and most people who have to wear compression hose regularly will also purchase an inexpensive and durable applicator to help with the donning of such apparel. You may remember the “thick beige stockings” your grandmother wore. Certainly not a fashion statement. In recent years however, many manufacturers have added a wide variety of compression stocking to include many shades, colors, and open toe/open foot varieties that make the warm weather months more manageable. However, as said before, compression provides temporary and usually only partial relief to your symptoms – they are NOT a cure for the cause of your problems. Unless you are one of the few with contra-indications (reasons why NOT to treat) you will achieve a far more lasting and convenient solution to venous problems by having them treated in any of the ablation and surgical manners described on our “treatments” page.

Compression stockings
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