DVT deep vein thrombosis forum

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"no" to compression stockings
Started by andrea
Posted: January 11, 2009 at 22:15
Despite numerous phone calls to dvt clinic and gp surgery, they both say that theres no need for me to wear compression stockings other than going on a long car journey or on a plane.It has been 5 long months since my dvt and i would like to hear from anyone who has not worn these and if they have had any problems. My dvt was in the popliteal vein, i have no pain and no swelling. Appreciate any replies. Thanks.
Reply #1 by kb
Posted: January 11, 2009 at 23:09
andrea, sounds like you are one of the lucky ones and that is what I hope to be when I off coumadin. I am only about 4 1/2 weeks into my treatment, I don't have any pain for the past couple of weeks (DVT in left calf - PE too), but the swelling is around after a long day of being on my feet. They say for me it could be up to a few months before the swelling goes away...but there is also a chance of long term chronic issues. I have gone one day of general out and about and swelling wasn't really there...just that left calf being a bit bigger than the right. (anybody notice in the morning that both calves are equal, but the end of the day the affected one is a bit bigger? or is their affected one even a bit bigger in the mornings after waking up?Mine seems to be that way...)
The stockings should definitely be worn when traveling long distances as you have might have some residual vein damage and the stockings help with circulation, but you probably don't need them 24/7 as your doctor says. Again, I am hoping for the same. My doctor didn't tell me I even needed stockings, it wasn't until I did research on the swelling that I found this website which I thought was interesting and helpful. See attached http://www.fvleiden.org/ask/82.html
So right now I wear them every day. I will try to not wear them in about another month or two when I think the clot has dissolved to see if there is any swelling (I also want a few weeks of cardio work outs as I am just starting my workouts this week.
It is great you have no pain or swelling...so keep it up and enjoy stocking free life! Just might want to wear them during long travel as precautionary measure so you aren't a repeater on this site - just a great source of inspiration for us newbies. Cheers! kb

Reply #2 by Char
Posted: January 12, 2009 at 01:06
Hey Andrea, do you know the cause of your DVT? The cause would be important for long term wearing of support hose.

As my blood clotting disorder is genetic, I am wearing support hose all day. Started with severe pain in my right calf lasting about 15 minutes, no swelling and no long term pain. I will wear support hose for the rest of my life.
Reply #3 by andrea
Posted: January 12, 2009 at 11:25
Thanks kb and char for your replies. Char - the cause of my dvt was due to an injury and then not being mobile. After 5 months is it too late to start wearing the stockings? Or would the support tights that you can buy in department stores be sufficient?(Thats what i wear now)
Reply #4 by Char
Posted: January 12, 2009 at 12:09
Hey Andrea, if my DVT was from injury and I had NO varicose veins, I would wear support hose for traveling and standing more than one hour. It is not too late and you probably can get away with support hose 15-20mm, I wear 20-30mm, prescribed per vein Doctor. I noticed in his office his techs wear knee-highs on the job.
I wear knee-highs, live in Florida, hot weather and thigh highs or support tights are just too warm. This week that will not be a problem, highs only in the 60's.
Your support tights are probably adequate, are they graded for pressure?

Reply #5 by Michelle
Posted: January 13, 2009 at 18:02
I think compression stockings are used for swelling symptoms than anything else.If you're not having any swelling, you can get away without the compression hose. I use compression stockings only occasionally - before my period when my ankles are very swollen, when I'm going to be on my feet (at the mall, standing for any length of time, etc.) or if I am travelling (either plane or car both seem to cause swelling). Besides that I'm able to get away without the compression hose. I had my DVT 7 years ago - but the clot is still there due to the massive size it originally was. It's going to be there forever - so I'm always going to have problems with venous insufficiency.
Reply #6 by Char
Posted: January 13, 2009 at 18:25
Because I have a genetic clotting disorder the support hose will be permanent in my life. I do not have swollen legs, never had, but venous insufficiency is seen on the ultrasound scans. Vein Doctor recommends them for anyone that has had DVT and venous insufficiency.

Reply #7 by Sarah
Posted: January 13, 2009 at 22:22
after 7 years have you had any other clotting problems? do you still have to take coumadin/warfarin or did they take you off the meds? My clot was pretty large too but I don't have much swelling, although I wear the compresson hose every day. I wear them in the hopes they will prevent variscosities down the road. Plus, they make my leg feel better.
Reply #8 by ellieuk
Posted: January 14, 2009 at 16:04
To you all - an "innocent reply". You've read my other posts

Both my grannies and my mum (who worked on their feet to some extent doing "normal jobs" for years) told me to wear what they called "support tights or stockings" in order to avoid varicose veins/other problems in the future. I ignored their advice as an arrogant young woman - shi. I was not going to wear disgusting "american tan" tights...... Wanted to be cool/look good!!! Perhaps THEY were RIGHT!!!!! Just a thought???
Reply #9 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: January 16, 2009 at 19:01

There are two answers to your question. First, if you do not have any problems with your affected leg swelling, then use of compression stockings may not be warranted, however, the fact that you had a DVT does make you more susceptible to a future clot (this still doesn't mean you will have one, it just means you have a increased risk, no matter how slight). For this fact, use of compression stockings during long trips (air, car, train, bus, whatever) should be considered.

On the otherhand, if your leg does swell after exercise or standing, then, yes, you should be wearing compression stockings. To some point they may reverse the affect of any damage done as the result of the DVT.

Here is some patient information from a Patient Advocacy Organization whose sole purpose is to raise awareness about blood clots:


After a DVT, there is usually some type of residual scarring (fibrinous tissue) left behind in the site where the clot was. This scarring prevents some circulatory which result in Post Thrombotic Syndrom (PTS) or Venous Insufficiency. The newsletter discusses this condition more in depth. Wearing Compression stocking helps the condition and as I stated above, can to come extend, reverse the damage. Are you too late to start using them - NO.

Also, compression stockings should be 20-30mm HG. Most over the counter stockings or TEDs are not in this weight category. The best stockings are the ones which are measured to fit you though you can purchase compression stockings online without being measured.
Reply #10 by ellieuk
Posted: January 16, 2009 at 19:26
What Common Sense Tom! Thank you! It's a little different in UK however (or I think so?!)

As i dont have the proper background or training I cant advise re compression stockings (only experience). My post ONLY related to "support tights or hose/stockings" . I'd like the difference to be highlighted for my own peace of mind! In the UK you generally can't buy compression stockings (except on prescription or over the internet or, of course flight socks). I don't feel Compression stockings should EVER BE PURCHASED without your Drs approval! There are risks associated with them being too tight/too loose etc (why, otherwise are people like me properly measured for them?).

Support tights are a very different matter available anywhere for people "on their legs all day" BUT THEY DO DO NOT PROVIDE THE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE POST-DVT. You have to get the COMPRESSION STOCKINGS prescribed. Talk to your DR.

Am I repeating myself? No matter ... All the best X
Reply #11 by Char
Posted: January 16, 2009 at 19:42
Hey ellieuk, you are right, mostly they should be prescribed per Doctor and until I went to a Vein Doctor I was not advised by my ex internist. Vein Doctor was very surprised as I have venous insufficiency and I went 4 months without support hose, I wear 20-30 mm knee-highs I buy at Brightlife online. I think support hose plays a big part in preventing thrombus as when my Mother stopped her Coumadin she continued to wear her support hose. She did not have another clotting event.
Reply #12 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: January 16, 2009 at 20:10
I agree, a Occupational or Physicial Therapist in which your physician has referred you to, should measure your legs to determine proper fit. A note however, a lot of people even without DVT related problems wear compression stockings these days. This includes flight attendants, healthcare professionals, etc.. I don't necessarily think a doctors approval to wear stocking is as important as being properly fit for them. Unless there is some underlying health issue outside of the norm, I have never heard a physician not recommend the use of compression stockings nor have I ever heard of one to advise against them.

Reply #13 by Tom in Connecticut
Posted: January 16, 2009 at 20:13

I should have mentioned, in the U.K. there is a patient advocacy organization you may want to check out:


They also have some information regarding compression stockings.
Reply #14 by Char
Posted: January 17, 2009 at 12:07
Here in the States I was measured by a tech in my Vein Doctors office, she did a shit poor job as my Medivens never fit. Had several problems such as some swelling above the band and a sore toe. Vein Doctor replaced them with a pair that fits. But I preferred talking to online help and purchased them at Brightlife. They fit without problems. I have not heard of PT or OT doing the measuring, nor was that option referred by my GP. Mostly you are on your own.
Even 39 years ago my Mother was on her own, she went to a medical store that did the fitting. Alas that store is closed.
Reply #15 by Maisa
Posted: January 18, 2009 at 09:42
I have 4 blood clots in my legs (1 month from diagnose) and my doctor never mentioned stockings. I asked him if I should use them when working out, dancing or in a plane trip and he said no. I will ask again next week and let you know.
Reply #16 by Sandy
Posted: August 4, 2010 at 18:40
3 years ago I had 3 Blood clots in two different Veins/arteries??? in my right leg. After a week in the hosp. and 6 months on Coumadin, Dr. said to go about normal activities and DON'T wear compression stockings, just "those extra support stockings that nurses wear"....very confusing to me. Now my foot is purple and red all the time and whether I sit or stand by the end of the day it is huge. (no pain though) I just bought a pair of compressionstockings (20-30 mm/Hg Comp.) and am going to see how that works out! I work in other peoples offices all day and do some prolong sitting.
Reply #17 by Shae
Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:23
Hi Andrea,

Your situation sounds similar to mine. I was diagnosed in June 10 and I have been told to wear the stockings 24/7 for 3 - 6 months. Then I have been told to wear them on flights longer than 4 hours long and on long car rides, for the rest of my life. My clot was only small and not extended in the right calf. I think I would rather be safe than sorry.
Reply #18 by Ang
Posted: April 17, 2011 at 02:18
I know this post was started a long time ago, but people are always trying to find out information.....
The best advice I can give is to WEAR the stockings!! They are the only thing that give my leg any relief at all and help to control the swelling!
I can say that with confidence as I have had three dvt's in 8 years, and I was on warfarin for 12 months for each dvt. I have also had three lots of clotting in the superficial veins in the last 2 years. And I have post thrombelitic syndrome as well so my leg is red, purple and irritated at all times.... I have some form of pain in my leg every day......the stockings are the only thing that help at all!

Reply #19 by dora
Posted: April 29, 2011 at 07:47
I have been wearing compression stockings on both legs for 18 years. I had a clot 21 years ago and was told to wear the sock on my left leg. 3years later I saw a specialist who told me that my right leg had "insufficient superficial veins" and that my left leg had "insufficient deep veins" and that I needed to wear stockings on both legs, for the rest of my life, or I would end up like the older women you sometimes see who can barely walk. Their legs are covered with open sores and wrapped in bandages. Numerous studies all confirm the befifit of wearing the socks.

Good luck
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