If you have a major surgery coming up, your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings during the recovery process. Graduated compression socks boost blood flow to promote four major benefits for post-surgery patients — improved circulation, reduced swelling, lower risk of DVT, and safer recovery.
Before jumping into these benefits, remember — you should only wear compression socks after surgery if your doctor explicitly instructs you to. If you think you might benefit from compression stockings, but your doctor hasn’t mentioned them yet, bring up the subject before going out and buying any.
Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks After Surgery
Compression Socks Improve Circulation
You may need to limit your physical activities or even go on bed rest for a while as you recover from surgery. Unfortunately, lying around leads to bad circulation, which is exactly the opposite of what your body needs to heal. That’s where graduated compression socks come in. These stockings apply gentle pressure to encourage venous circulation even while confined to your bed.
Compression Socks Reduce Swelling
Minor inflammation is an anticipated and even beneficial part of recovering from surgery. However, extreme swelling can hamper your recovery and lead to complications. Compression socks help alleviate this problem because the tight fit prevents your skin from expanding beyond a certain point. This forces fluid to dissipate so it doesn’t build up in one area. For the best results, put on your compression stockings before any major swelling sets in.
Compression Socks Lower the Risk of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis is when blood clots develop in the veins deep within your legs. If the clot breaks off and travels through your veins, it can lodge in your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Patients undergoing hip, knee, leg, and abdominal surgery have a higher chance of DVT, especially if general anesthesia is required for more than 90 minutes. Remaining bedridden or in a wheelchair after surgery also increases the risk of DVT.
Luckily, wearing graduated compression socks can lower your risk by improving circulation and reducing swelling. Other tips to prevent DVT include drinking enough fluids, moving around as much as possible after your operation, and taking any anticoagulant medication your doctor prescribes.
Compression Socks Promote a Safer Recovery
By keeping your blood flowing and preventing complications after surgery, compression socks can speed up your recovery time and help you return to your regular activities sooner. They are also noninvasive, drug-free, and relatively inexpensive, making them a great complement to other medical treatments.
How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks After Surgery?
If your doctor recommends compression stockings, be sure to ask how long you should wear them. In general, try to wear your compression socks as much as possible, both during the day and while sleeping at night, until you’re able to move around freely. Follow your doctor’s instructions for the best results.
What Type of Compression Socks To Wear After Surgery
Compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The degree of compression ranges from mild (15 to 20 mmHg) to moderate (20 to 30 mmHg) to firm (30 to 40 mmHg). With graduated compression stockings, the pressure is highest at the ankle and tapers off toward the cuff. Your doctor will recommend the right compression strength for your situation.
If you end up needing mild to moderate compression stockings, Feetures has what you’re looking for. Our graduated knee-high compression socks provide an unmatched, custom-like fit, with anatomical right and left foot designs for an enhanced fit. The seamless toe also makes our compression socks comfortable to wear with shoes.
Even after you recover from surgery, you may find you want to continue wearing your compression socks (with your doctor’s permission, of course). This is a great way to maintain optimal blood flow to reduce muscle aches and symptoms of varicose veins.