Here at our Houston area vein clinics, we recommend compression therapy after vein treatments. So, if you are planning remove your spider or varicose veins with our minimally invasive procedures, you’ll need to rock those socks. Here’s our guide to compression socks, and a few bonus tips for scoring your best vein treatment outcomes.
What are Compression Socks?
Modern compression stockings have changed a lot. Today’s models have sophisticated technology designed to improve your circulation and prevent swelling. Plus, they look a lot cuter than the older models! But let’s talk about their main purpose, pressure. Compression socks put more pressure near your ankles and feet, squeezing blood out of your lower legs to prevent edema (swelling.)
Compression socks have numbered pressure ranges. After your vein treatment, we’ll prescribe the right amount of pressure for your needs.
The stocking levels of pressure are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the number, the greater the pressure coming from your compression socks. Vein specialists will recommend your best pressure level. But here’s a basic guide to understanding the different compression socks and their ranges of pressure.
Why are there Numbers on my Pressure Socks?
As we mentioned, the numbers you see on your compression sock packaging reflect their pressure levels. As a basic guide:
8-15 mmHg: these are the lightest levels of pressure. Pick this sock to help prevent varicose veins, or to relieve your achy, tired legs.
15-20 mmHg: This mild level of compression relieves minor swelling, varicose veins, aching, and pregnancy risk. They may also prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) when you wear them for a long flight.
20-30 mmHg: These class 1 compression socks are prescribed by vein specialists for mild to moderate medical conditions.
30-40 mmHg: Class 2 socks can help with severe swelling, DVT and even ulcers. You can only purchase this level of compression sock with a doctor’s prescription.
40-50 mmHg: Class 3 stockings provide the highest level of pressure. You can only wear these socks if you’re being medically supervised. These compression socks usually treat chronic venous insufficiency and PTS (Post-Thrombotic Syndrome).
Wearing Compression Socks After Vein Treatments
After your vein procedure, our specialists will give you unique compression sock recommendations. We’ll review how long and how often you should wear compression socks. In order to recover properly after vein removal treatments, you’ll need to follow our exact recommendations.
You should expect to spend a lot of time in compression socks right after your procedure. Typically, you’ll need to spend several days wearing compression socks for 24 hours a day. After that, we can taper down your time in compression socks. You’ll likely spend one to two weeks wearing compression socks all day. But you’ll be able to remove them while you sleep.
The size of the veins treated and how many veins were removed determine how long you should continue to wear compression stockings. Wearing them will help prevent the veins that were collapsed during sclerotherapy or ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy to refill with blood. This means that spider veins or small varicose veins that were removed immediately during the procedure will not reappear. It also helps patients see gradual improvement in other veins that were treated.
If you have a sclerotherapy procedure, you’ll need to take a few more steps to help your recovery. For the first few days, it is also very important to get up and walk around every hour. Doing so will help you maintain proper blood flow, and help with your sclerotherapy results.
Recovery After Varicose Vein Removal
After laser vein treatments, a procedure we perform to remove varicose veins, you’ll also wear compression socks. During endovenous laser vein treatment, we send a beam of light through your varicose vein, sealing it off. Wearing compression stockings after this procedure can ensure these varicose veins do not open back up, and it will also help with swelling. It is also important to walk around immediately after the vein removal procedure.
Schedule an appointment at our Houston, Katy, or Sugar Land vein centers for treatment recommendations for your spider or varicose veins.
Sources: Spark Chronicles