Compression Therapy and Compression Garments in Pittsburgh
At the Advanced Vein Center, believe in treating the source of vein problems, not just the symptoms!
Many skin care centers that treat aesthetically displeasing leg veins focus on injecting the legs with sclerotherapy. However, patients with serious leg swelling and discoloration from long standing vein disease need true medical leg vein treatment. Serious treatment of vein disease begins and ends with the compression management of leg edema.
Many Insurance companies actually require a course of compression therapy for swollen legs before they will even consider paying for vein surgery or any other vein procedures. Although compression won’t change the underlying vein disease, it may help control painful and destructive vein symptoms while you wear them.
Not all stockings are created equal! Compression vein stockings have a compression gradient- that means they are stronger at the bottom than at the top. Because gravity causes more blood pooling and swelling farther away from the heart and lower to the ground, it’s important for them to work more where they are needed the most They also come in different materials, colors and textures:
- Cotton sport sock styles for men and athletes
- Black dress sock styles for use with trousers
- Colorful waist high and thigh high varieties as a fashion accessory!
- Standard tan for our conservative patients and to make life easier at your foot doctor appointments we can offer open toe stockings.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Other than vein compression socks, how else can I help swollen legs?
A: Elevation, elevation, elevation! Leg swelling occurs when the valves in the leg veins fail and gravity pools the blood down to your feet and ankles. Have gravity work for you rather than against you and “put your feet up” whenever you get a chance!
Q: How does exercise help leg swelling?
A: Our vein experts in Beaver county explain that while arteries have muscle tissue in their walls, veins do not. You rely on your calf muscles surrounding the veins in your legs to pump the blood against gravity, back to the heart. The stronger your leg muscles are from walking and exercise, the more strongly they can pump the blood in the veins.
Q: What are the symptoms of vein disease?
A: Besides swollen legs, which is called edema, major symptoms of vein disease include brownish discoloration around the ankles and breakdown of the skin. Minor vein disease symptoms are itchiness which increases as the day goes on, night cramps and restless leg symptoms. Some report to our vein doctors in Cranberry Twp they actually get charley horses in their calves, so severe it can awaken them from sleep.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid if I have poor vein health?
A: Exposure to sun is very damaging to veins. The sun and heat cause the elastic to release and make swelling worse leading to blood leaking out of the vein and the hemoglobin from the escaped blood products to stain and discolor skin. This then goes on to weaken the skin and can lead to leg ulcers. Ditto for saunas, jacuzzis and hot tubs!
Q: What should I do after a vein procedure?
A: After a vein procedure you NEED to WEAR COMPRESSION GARMENTS! How long you need to wear your stockings and the best type is up to your vein doctor in Butler, PA and our other pittsburgh vein centers.
Q: Other than compression socks, what else can I do to relieve pain after vein procedures?
A: Drink several glasses of water daily. Never take Ibuprofen, Aleve or other NSAIDS and especially no Aspirin for several days, only Tylenol for discomfort, as the others can thin your blood and increase bleeding complications. Ice is a simple, safe alternative to pain medicine to sooth local pain and inflammation after a vein procedure. Know that a small amount of discomfort is normal, but if you experience severe pain or bleeding, call your vein surgeon immediately and go to an emergency room if bleeding is out of control.