Compression stockings have long been a mainstay in treating a wide array of venous disorders. Compression therapy prevents blood from pooling in the leg by using graduated compression built into the stockings, which is strongest around the ankle area and gradually weakens in strength as it moves up the leg to the knee and thigh. Different “strengths” of compression may be prescribed for lesser and more severe forms of venous disease.
All stockings work by promoting proper blood flow. As the upward flow of blood is impeded in venous disease due to faulty valves and gravity, this can help to greatly reduce pressure within the veins, as well as signs of edema. Compression therapy is also helpful in reducing the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition in which a blood clot forms in the leg and can potentially travel to the lungs.
Compression stockings are generally worn during the day and taken off at bedtime. They may be worn before, during, or after other procedures including endovenous laser techniques, radiofrequency ablation, microphlebectomy, or sclerotherapy.