Here at our Houston and Dallas 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 most appropriate pressure level.
Here’s a basic guide to understanding the different compression socks and their pressure ranges.
Why are there Numbers on my Pressure Socks?
As mentioned, the numbers 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 compression level 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 compression level with a doctor’s prescription.
40-50 mmHg: Class 3 stockings provide the highest 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).
Compression Socks During Pregnancy
Mild foot and ankle swelling is often common during pregnancy, especially at the end of the day. Some women find relief from this uncomfortable side effect by wearing compression socks. If you choose to do so during pregnancy, pay attention to sock sizes, as your foot size may increase while you’re expecting.
Also, look for stockings made of breathable materials to help avoid overheating, another common pregnancy symptom. Finally, most women will do best with a light or minimal-strength compression stocking, as higher pressure is reserved for more serious conditions.
Wearing Compression Socks After Sclerotherapy
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. 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 were removed determine how long you should continue wearing compression stockings. Wearing them will help prevent the veins that were collapsed during sclerotherapy or ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy from refilling 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 a gradual improvement in other treated veins.
How long to wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy?
If you have a sclerotherapy procedure, you’ll need to take a few more steps to help with your recovery. It is also very important to get up and walk around every hour for the first few days,. Doing so will help you maintain proper blood flow and help with your sclerotherapy results.
You will need to leave your pressure bandage untouched for up to 48 hours after your sclerotherapy procedure. You should follow this up by wearing compression stockings for 3 to 7 days, depending on the type of vein treated.
Be sure not to exert yourself in the days following your procedure or stand or sit for too long. Refrain from lifting your legs, as this could lead to the formation of blood clots.
Recovery After Varicose Vein Removal
After radiofrequency ablation vein treatments, a procedure we perform to treat varicose veins, you’ll also wear compression socks. During endovenous radiofrequency ablation treatment, we use heat to treat your abnormal vein, sealing it off permanently.
Wearing compression stockings after this procedure can ensure these varicose veins do not open back up. 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