Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vein Surgery and Compression Stockings

This is the time of year when many who have considered vein surgery actually opt to have it. As warm weather approaches and the thought of "showing some leg" in shorts or bathing suits becomes more of a reality, a number of folks, especially women, say it's time to take of those varicose or spider veins. For some, surgery is a must, especially for certain conditions.

Varicose veins are enlarged superficial veins in the legs and thighs that generally are more of a cosmetic annoyance than a serious health problem. However, these veins can grow larger and become more engorged over the years, causing swelling, itching and pain. The cause of varicose veins is unknown, but specialists suspect that the valves that prevent the back flow of blood become damaged or ineffectual over the years from normal wear and tear, or trauma, and blood begins to flow backwards and pools. Pregnancy, obesity, standing for long periods, or other trauma can contribute to the development of varicose veins. They are more common in women and some specialists have linked varicose veins to levels of estrogen.

Treatment for varicose veins can range from invasive procedures, such as "stripping," where the vein is literally removed. If the valve is the culprit sometimes it can be "tied off" and the smaller veins cut away with small incisions. Laser therapies to remove the vein from the thigh or leg are growing increasingly popular. When any surgical solution is indicated, preparation for surgery requires several weeks of wearing a high level compression stocking, generally pantyhose or thigh high stockings. Once surgery is completed, compression stockings must continue to be worn for several weeks to ensure proper circulation. Compression assists the body's natural venous system to operate effectively, moving blood more efficiently and smoothly through the veins.

In fact, wearing compression as a precautionary therapy can be an effective deterent to varicose veins when combined with exercise and simple behaviors, such as not crossing the legs, or elevating legs as frequently as possible.

Always discuss your health issues with your physician or other trusted health care professionals. For more information about compression, read our blog or contact us. Our staff is highly trained in the fitting of compression garments and we are delighted to work with you to find the right fit for you and your situation.
Have you had vein surgery? Are you contemplating it? Post a comment to this blog and share your experiences.

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