Do I Need to Wear Compression Stockings After Varicose Vein Treatment?
Compression stockings are often used as part of a conservative treatment plan for varicose veins. They improve circulation, reduce fatigue, and ease swelling in the feet and ankles. Although compression stockings help control the symptoms associated with varicose veins, they won’t make diseased veins go away. Only varicose treatments like sclerotherapy or endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) can eliminate varicose veins permanently.
Even if you have never worn compression stockings to reduce your varicose vein symptoms, your doctor might recommend using them for a short time after your vein treatment. The same benefits that compression provides as part of a treatment plan can help reduce your post-treatment symptoms.
How Do Compression Stockings Work?
Compression stockings gently squeeze your legs to move blood through the veins. When people have venous insufficiency, blood pools in their lower legs and ankles. The stockings are super stretchy and apply gentle pressure that keeps the blood moving.
Medical grade compression stockings come in various styles, colours, and compression levels. Modern compression stockings come in regular stockings that fit below the knee, thigh highs, and tights. Graduated compression stockings get tighter as you go down toward the ankle, often making below the knee stockings the best choice following your vein treatment. They put the greatest degree of pressure on the lower area of your legs, where it is needed. Your doctor will determine which compression level you need and how long to wear them.
Compression levels are measured in mmHg and they include:
- 8-15 mmHg (Mild Compression)
- 15-20 mmHg (Moderate Compression)
- 20-30 mmHg (Firm Compression)
- 30-40 mmHg (Extra Firm Compression)
Guidelines vary among countries and regions for the compression level and length of use. While some doctors and researchers still debate the benefits of their post-treatment use at all, research has repeatedly shown that they can help reduce pain and swelling. Most often, firm compression is prescribed for post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment. Although there is some debate about their benefit, patients often report less swelling and a mild reduction in pain with their use following treatment.
Wearing Compression Stockings After Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
EVLA is a minimally invasive vein treatment that we perform as an outpatient procedure. Your doctor will require you to wear elastic compression stockings following your vein treatment. This helps keep the vein closed while you heal and speeds up the healing process. The stockings help prevent soreness, making you more comfortable and helping you get back to your regular activities sooner.
Your vein doctor will advise you on the degree of compression and the duration of use that is right for you. At The Vein Institute, it is usually for five days after your vein treatment. Your doctor may also recommend bandages in addition to stockings depending on your treatment.
Sometimes doctors also recommend wearing compression stockings after sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Depending on the country and region where treatment takes place, doctors might use compression therapy to enhance the clearing of blood vessels following vein treatment. Talk with your doctor about the potential benefits of wearing compression stockings after your vein treatment. For many patients, the potential for less pain and faster healing make wearing compression stockings worth any added effort.
The doctors at The Vein Institute offer the most advanced varicose vein treatments to patients in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Contact us today and book your ultrasound scan and assessment. We’re here to help you get the best possible results from your varicose vein treatment.
We invite you to book your appointment today at 1300 535 017.