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Understanding Compression Stocking Strengths

Compression stockings are designed to improve circulation in the legs by putting a ‘squeeze’ or pressure on the lower legs in order to prevent blood from clogging in inefficient veins and encourage circulation back toward the heart.

They’re commonly recommended for patients struggling with the heaviness and achiness of varicose veins, or recovering from varicose vein surgery.

But buying the right type of compression stockings can be a minefield. They’re sometimes a unisex fit and sometimes separate for men/women. In addition, there are a range of compression levels, or classes, with different amounts of Lycra or polyamide which vary the strength of the compression delivered.

There are 4 main compression levels and the strength of compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

Guide to Compression Stockings

Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg)

  • Helps maintain healthy legs
  • Relief for tired and achy legs, especially after long periods of sitting or standing
  • Relief for minor swelling of feet/ankles/legs
  • Useful during pregnancy to help prevent varicose or thread veins

Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg)

  • Relief for minor-moderate varicose or thread veins
  • Relief for tired and achy legs and minor swelling of feet/ankles/legs
  • Useful during pregnancy to help prevent varicose or thread veins
  • Used in long-distance travel to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Used after sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent varicose veins/thread veins from reappearing

Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg)

  • Relief for moderate-severe varicose or thread veins, or swelling of feet/ankles/legs
  • Used after sclerotherapy treatment or surgery to help prevent varicose veins from reappearing
  • Helpful for ulcers or inflammations associated with varicose veins
  • Also used in long-distance travel to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Extra Firm Compression (30-40 mmHg)

  • The strongest level of compression for the most severe vein problems
  • Relief for severe varicose or thread veins and/or swelling of feet/ankles/legs
  • Used after sclerotherapy treatment or surgery to help prevent varicose veins from reappearing
  • Helpful for ulcers or inflammations associated with varicose veins
  • Also used in long-distance travel to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Compression Stockings vs Surgery

Compression stockings are helpful for easing the discomfort and symptoms of varicose veins, but they won’t cure them. The only long-term solution is varicose vein treatment.

Now, the latest ‘laser varicose vein surgery’ is provided in private clinics on a day case basis using EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) which offers excellent results and fast recovery. There is no general anaesthetic, no hospital stay and patients can walk out of the clinic with the varicose veins gone.

Varicose Vein Removal London

Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal at their London vein treatment centre with a renowned vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).

They also offer foam sclerotherapy and micro surgery in order to provide a tailor-made service with the most appropriate treatment for each individual. Sclerotherapy for thread veins is available in a number of clinics with trained doctors.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.

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