Compression Therapy   FAQs



Are compression stockings difficult to apply and remove?
No. We take special time with our clients to show them the proper techniques for taking stockings on and off. And with the use of the rubber gloves that we provide free of charge the majority of people have no problems. For more information on "donning" and "doffing" the stockings, please go to our Application page.

What does graduated compression mean?
In the stockings, the greatest compression begins at the ankle and decreases up the leg. For arm sleeves, the greatest compression begins at the wrist and decreases up the arm.

Can I use lotions and creams with your garments?
It's perfectly safe to use lotions and creams with latex-free compression garments. This is especially important for people with lymphedema since daily skin care and moisturizer is so important. Lotions and ointments breakdown garments made out of natural rubber.

Why is it okay to machine wash/dry compression garments?
Without daily machine laundering, your garment is more likely to stretch out, over time. Other brands can only be hand washed and hand dried. All garments can be machine-washed and machine- dried on a low-heat setting.

If my garment pills, can I use scissors or a razor to remove them?
Some people use a sweater razor to remove the pills. If it damages the garment the manufacturer warranty is voided. Be sure the garment is being laundered in a lingerie bag or a pillowcase. It is the friction of the sleeve against other fabrics that causes the pilling.

What is the difference between anti-embolism and graduated compression?
Anti-Embolism Stockings: Also known as TEDS. These stockings are intended for non-ambulatory patients or those confined to a bed or wheel chair. It is common in recovery rooms and post surgery for physicians to prescribe these stockings for patients to prevent coagulation (thrombosis) and stimulate blood flow. They are white and a thicker knit with an opening at the toes. Anti-embolism stockings have a universal compression throughout ranging from 8-18mmHg.

Graduated Compression Stockings: These stockings are medically therapeutic and designed for people who are mobile. They work with a graduated effect, providing 100% compression at the most distal point, being the ankle and decreasing up the leg. The compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Graduated compression stockings are manufactured in compression ranges: 12-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg, 40-50mmHg, and 50+mmHg. Graduated compression stockings coincide with specific medical indications. Stockings below 20mmHg are available over-the-counter (OTC) and compression levels above 20mmHg require a medical prescription.

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You have had varicose veins for a long time without any pain. Should you be treated?
In the long run, varicose veins may have serious consequences for the blood circulation in your venous system, such as venous stasis. Over time, venous stasis can lead to changes in your skin (redness, brown spots) which in turn could lead to a venous ulcer. The earlier varicose veins are treated (there are various treatment options), the greater will be the chance for your venous network to regenerate itself. Compression stockings should also be worn to help your venous system overcome the high venous pressure due to venous stasis.

You have been feeling pains in your legs. Your legs are swollen, they itch and brown spots appear. Are these the sign of an ulcer?
A venous ulcer has many causes. Chronic venous insufficiency, in the majority of cases, is the activating factor. It often happens when the treatment is not sort. Independently, we are talking about varicose veins or post thrombotic syndrome. The vessels' functioning is so disturbed that there is stasis. Then edema appears and your skin aspect changes - at first a color change, then it itches and eczema appears. As time passes, your skin hardens. A small wound or an inflammation due to a mosquito bite are enough to deteriorate your skin. An ulcer forms. These changes appear gradually and can in most cases be resolved with treatment.

Should you smoke if you suffer from venous disorders?
Nicotine has no harmful consequences on the venous system. However, arteries and lungs are severely damaged. Smoking is bad for your overall health.

Are varicose veins hereditary?
Yes.

Should one drink alcohol if he/she suffers from venous disorders?
Alcohol dilates veins, so they have to double their work. Alcohol consumed in moderation will not adversely affect someone with venous disorders.

Are spider veins life threatening?
No.

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Are varicose veins a danger for a pregnant woman?
Often, varicose veins appear during a pregnancy but they usually disappear almost entirely after childbirth. Depending on the area in which varicose veins appear and the pain they provoke, it might be sensible to wear compression stockings for awhile. In rare cases, varicose veins could reach the groin which is unpleasant, but involves no risks.

Can we prevent the appearance of varicose veins?
Yes, move! To go from one point to another you should walk or bike instead of driving. Use the staircase rather than the elevator. Practise a sport that would stimulate your venous system like cycling, swimming, or walking. If you have no choice other than to stand or to sit all day long at work, give yourself time to take few steps each hour. Raise your legs and move as often as possible. It is also recommended to shower your legs with cold water and to wear compression socks or stockings 20-30mmHg.

If you continually wear strong compression stockings, are your leg muscles weakened?
Compression stockings and bandages have no negative effect on muscles. On the contrary, patients treated by compression have to move a lot, therefore, the leg musculature is thus mobilized and developed.

When do varicose veins appear?
Varicose veins can appear early in childhood, but studies show that they have a tendency to appear after the age of 20.

What is the most efficient compression method after a serious thrombosis?
In general, bandages are used as the first step in the treatment of a deep venous thrombosis. They are used until the edema is absorbed. Measures can then be taken to wear compression stockings. The compression stockings have to be worn every day to avoid venous stasis. In most cases knee-high support stockings are sufficient. You can determine the style of compression garment you choose with your doctor (thigh length or pantyhose stockings).

Can varicose veins appear again?
Today, it is impossible to control the heredity factor of varicose veins. That's why varicose veins can reappear even after a surgery or sclerotherapy. However, varicose veins that have been treated never appear again but new ones can.

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Should you give up tea or coffee because you suffer from a venous disorder?
No. Tea or coffee has no influence on a serious venous thrombosis or post-thrombotic syndrome.

How does DVT start?
It is a blood clot in the deep veins that dislodges and travels through the circulatory system. It could be life threatening if the blood clot blocks the pulmonary artery to the lungs - this is called a pulmonary embolism.

What is DVT?
DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis.

Must patients with venous disorders follow some rules while they are on vacation? And if so, which ones?
Any activity that makes you move is allowed - jogging , walking, swimming, cycling etc. It is preferable to avoid sunbathing as it is harmful to the venous system. If you don't want to give up the sun, refresh your legs regularly in a swimming-pool, in the sea or with a water jet.

How can one find a specialist in the venous disorders field?
(Surgeons, interns, general practitioners and dermatologists specialized in the treatment of varicose veins (phlebology)).
  • In Germany, these specialists are recognized by their medical signs on which is written "vein specialists."
  • In Austria, dermatologists and angiologists are specialized in the field of venous disorders. However, a special designation does not exist.
  • In Switzerland, specialists are easily found under the heading "venous disorders" in the phone book. They distinguish themselves by belonging to the "SGP members," i.e. members of the Swiss phlebology society which regularly gives them training and information on venous disorders treatments.
  • In the USA, a specialist can be found by going to the website "www.phlebology.org," or looking for a vascular surgeon who specializes in veins.

Do more women than men suffer from varicose veins?
Yes.

Should I fly right after giving birth?
It is recommended that mothers should not fly for at least 6 weeks right after giving birth.


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