Comprehensive Venous Diagnosis and Treatment
For thousands of years, tight wraps around the legs have been used to help with leg pain and ulcers which develop due to venous insufficiency. Compression therapy is an important part of managing venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, superficial vein thrombosis, and venous obstruction. Compression treatments take many forms and must be highly individualized to provide the most benefit for the patient. Modern compression therapy is very different from what existed just a few years ago.
We carry three of the best brands of support hose available in our office for a variety of fitting options based upon the patient’s needs and preferences. Correct fitting of patients in support hose is important in order to achieve positive results. The correct compression rating of support hose and the length of support hose must be determined based upon a number of issues such as severity of venous disease, leg swelling, arterial blood flow issues, nerve problems, numbness in the feet, or arthritic foot deformity. Our clinical staff are the local experts in fitting support hose and they expend a great deal of effort to teach patients what they need to know to wear the hose successfully. Modern support hose are available in a wide variety of configurations, fabrics, and colors to suit varying clinical needs and patient preferences. A number of devices are available to assist patients who have difficulty donning the hose.
Patients may be asked to wear support hose after procedures to facilitate recovery. In addition, all patients who have venous insufficiency, venous obstruction, and venous thrombosis should wear support hose or use an alternative form of compression therapy since nearly all will benefit from lifelong use of support hose. Any clinic which tells you that compression therapy is not needed after treatment should be avoided.
Some patients who cannot apply support hose may still achieve the necessary compression with devices that use a series of straps on the foot and calf, the Circaid™ device or the JuxtaLite™ device. These devices squeeze the leg veins while walking resulting in pumping of blood back to the heart. Some patients require special compression treatments involving “short-stretch” elastic wraps on the legs rather than support hose. A few patients with severe swelling of the legs due to lymphedema require a series of massage tratments to assist the body in moving accumulated lymphatic fluid from the legs back into the circulation. Specially-trained physical therapists to whom we refer some patients with severe lymphedema in the legs perform the massage treatments and leg wrapping called “Manual Lymphatic Drainage”.