Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Are graduated compression stockings the same as TED hose?

In a word: no. TED hose are not the same as graduated compression stockings. There are many people who do not realize there is a difference.

T.E.D. is an acronym for Thrombo Embolic Deterrent, so T.E.D. hose are "anti-embolic" stockings. They are often worn after surgery to help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis -- also known as DVT. They work well for this purpose, but they are only 8-15mmHg of compression. As soon as someone is out of bed post surgery and is able to stand, there is more pressure on the veins and the TED hose become much less effective. 

TED hose do not help with the symptoms of venous disease, nor do they halt the progression of venous disease.   

A graduated compression stocking prescribed for chronic superficial venous insufficiency is generally 20-30 mmHg, which means there is approximately 30mmHg of pressure at the ankle, 25 mmHg in the mid-calf, 20 around the knee, 15mmHg in the lower thigh, 10 mmHg in the mid thigh, and 5 mmHg in the upper thigh. This graduation encourages good venous return. Another difference is that, in general, compression stockings are much more tolerable to wear on a daily basis. 

Though compression stockings are much easier to put on than TED hose, they can still be difficult to put on. So if you are prescribed to wear either compression stockings or TED hose, ask your provider for tips -- or even coaching -- for how to put them on and take them off. (That's called "donning" and "doffing" in the compression business.) There are lots of online resources to guide you.

If you have any questions about compression therapy or T.E.D. hose, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We're here to help!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We love compression!

At the Vein Healthcare Center, we talk about graduated compression. A lot. 

In fact, Dr. Asbjornsen wears 20-30mmHg socks or stockings almost every day. Doctors are always on their feet, and graduated compression fights—and beats—gravity, keeping the blood circulating from the legs back up to the heart.

In our last issue of Vein Health News, the cover story was all about caring for your legs and feet when you’re constantly using them. Our colleague Tom Musone from the compression company Juzo gave us six tips about how to use compression to make your legs feel better:

1. Wearing compression every day can prevent edema (leg swelling), alleviate venous symptoms, and make your legs feel better overall.

2. Make sure you wear graduated compression stockings. That means the pressure is highest at the foot and ankle and gradually decreases as the garment rises up the leg. This pressure gradient makes it easier for the body to pump blood up towards the heart and more difficult for gravity to pull blood downward.

3. Compression also increases the pressure in the subcutaneous tissue, which helps to reduce and prevent swelling by moving excess fluid back into the capillaries.

4. Gradient compression is expressed in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Unless otherwise directed by a medical professional, look for 15-20 mmHg or 20-30 mmHg.

5. Current evidence supports wearing either knee-high or thigh-high style compression stockings when standing for prolonged periods. A good fit is the most important factor.

6. Get fitted by a certified fitter to find the brand, product, and style that’s right for you. These days there are dozens to choose from.

Dr. Asbjornsen swears that even if she weren’t a vein specialist prescribing compression stockings to patients, she would still tout the benefits of wearing it, because her legs feel so good at the end of the day!

If you have any questions about graduated compression for venous relief, prevention, or both, contact us at the Vein Healthcare Center. We’re happy to educate about the benefits of compression.