Your Guide to Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are specially designed stockings or socks that apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. They may be prescribed by your doctor for conditions that cause poor blood flow in your legs, such as varicose veins (swollen and enlarged veins), venous leg ulcers (a sore, damaged area of skin that takes weeks to heal), and lymphoedema (when your body’s tissues swell up painfully). They are often also prescribed as part of follow-up and ongoing care after diagnosis of DVT to help reduce swelling, increase blood flow, and regulate pain.

Why Wear Compression?

Compression therapy is important to recovery from DVT because it helps to slow the progression of vein disease and promotes a stronger circulatory system by supporting weak or wavy (also known as incompetent) veins and valves and accelerating blood flow back to the heart. If you have a DVT, it is recommended that you wear compression stockings for up to two years after your DVT and in some cases, for the rest of your life to promote good circulation and help prevent Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS).

Recent studies have indicated that wearing compression may not be as beneficial as once thought in preventing long-term problems after DVT, although many medical professionals have concluded that more research is needed.

What Kind of Compression to Get

Medical grade compression stockings come in a variety of compression strengths (known as mmHg), depending on what you need. Be sure to discuss your situation with your doctor to get the right compression for you. The grades include:

  • 15-20 mmHg (Mild) – Generally for mild spider veins, slight varicose veins, and achy legs.
  • 20-30 mmHg (Moderate) – Generally for leg fatigue and heaviness, moderate spider veins, and pronounced varicose veins.
  • 30-40 mmHG (Firm) – Generally for severe varicose veins, post-sclerotherapy, and prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome.

Get fitted! Compression stockings have graduated pressure, meaning the pressure is strongest and the ankle and decreases as it goes up the leg. It is really important to get fitted by a professional for the correct size of compression stockings. A certified fitter can be found at medical supply stores and some pharmacies, so call ahead to ask about specifics. They will measure your calf and ankle sizes and also the length of your leg to make sure you have the right size to maximize compression benefits. Try to get fitted as early in the day as possible before swelling increases.

Compression stockings come in a variety of basic colors including beige, black, navy, sheer and nude. They also come in thigh-high, knee-high, waist-high, and open-toed, which I love to wear in the summer with flip-flops or sandals.

Where to Buy Compression
  • Medical Supply Stores (i.e. places where prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs, etc. are sold) – Many insurance companies will cover or supplement the cost of compression stockings if they are ordered through a medical supply store so I recommend checking there first. Most, if not all, medical supply dealers require a prescription from your doctor so be sure to ask for one. Also, check with your insurance ahead of time for a list of pre-approved dealers in your area. If insurance does not supplement your stockings, you will most likely pay full price at a medical supply store.
  • Chain Drug Stores/Pharmacies (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, Discount Drug Mart, etc.) – Pharmacies and drug stores are great options to look for compression stockings because they often offer a less expensive selection of compression stockings.
  • Hospital Pharmacies – Many physicians will prescribe you a pair of stockings before you are discharged. Ask if you can return to the pharmacy to get a new pair in the future.
  • Online – You may be able to purchase compression stockings online (especially novelty ones, like colors and patterns). Just be sure if you are purchasing from an online retailer, you are still getting the right grade compression for your needs because not all of them are medical-quality compression stockings. A quick Google Search, or Amazon, should turn up a variety of fashionable compression stockings.
The Cost of Compression

Compression stockings are not cheap. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $29-$110 per pair. Many of the drug store stores offer an “economy brand” of stockings that are in the $29-$40 range. Stockings ordered from medical supply shops range from $60 and up. The cost of compression stockings varies depending on the length (thigh-high, knee-high, or waist-high); material; brand, and whether or not your insurance offers any coverage for compression stockings. Check because sometimes they are partially or fully covered with your plan.

Medical Compression vs. Sport Compression

It is important to note there is a difference between what is known as medical-grade compression stockings and sport or recovery compression stockings. Runners and other athletes sometimes use compression socks to increase blood flow during exercise, which some think may reduce soreness, increase endurance and performance, stabilize joints, activate blood flow, and can even increase coordination, although the research is not conclusive on this stance. Sports compression wear is generally less expensive than medical-grade products, but not always. Athletic compression stockings are not graduated like medical-grade stockings and may not be suitable for your recovery needs. Check with your doctor about what kind of compression you need.

What to Expect

Compression stockings take a little while to get used to and can seem painful or even cause a burning sensation when first wearing them. As with many things dealing with recovery from DVT and PE, give your body a chance to adapt and a chance for them to start working. Compression stockings may be worn on one or both legs. You should expect to replace them every 3-6 months depending on how often you wear each stocking or pair of stockings. Wash them according to the packaging instructions to preserve their effectiveness.

Helpful Hints
  • Wear your compression stockings when you are going to be sitting and/or standing for long periods of time (i.e. at work – sitting or standing).
  • Put your stockings on as soon as you can in the morning when swelling is minimal and they will be easier to put on then.
  • Give your legs a break too! Most medical experts suggest removing your compression stockings when you are going to bed at night. Blood flow is optimized when you are lying down so they are not needed.
  • Rotate your stockings (if you have more than one pair) for maximum wearability.
  • Be sure to follow the packaging instructions for washing your stockings.
  • Many medical supply stores offer additional products to assist you in getting compression stockings on. If you are struggling or do not have a lot of strength to pull them up there are devices that can make it easier for you.
  • Wear compression stockings when you are traveling (a long flight or car ride) to increase blood flow and reduce the risk of DVT.
  • People who primarily sit or stand during the day and are at increased risk for a blood clot may consider wearing compression as a preventative measure to decrease the risk of a blood clot.
  • Wearing compression stockings can be damaging to your self-esteem because they look funny and are not easy to hide. If you’re uncomfortable with them, think about what you can wear to cover them (long skirts, slacks), or recognize that most people don’t take the time to notice you even have them on.

Reader Writes In: Do you wear compression stockings? Why or why not? What kind do you wear? Have you noticed that compression stockings help or hurt you?

Share in the comments!


  1. Thanks Sara,

    I wear compression stockings, because I am my “own doctor”. The MD that I have been seeing didn’t seem to know anything about compression stockings. I told her I was wearing them because I didn’t want to get post-thrombotic syndrome. Now she said she wants me to wear them for one year. I also had seen a cardiac surgeon who cauterized the insufficient vein in my left leg before my DVT and PE. He noted on the paperwork that he talked to me about compression stockings. (He did not, and actually identified that he worked on my right vein,when he actually worked on my left. Less than 90 days after the procedure, I got my PE.) All this from one of the best hospitals in the country.

    I was wearing the compression stockings on both legs, but recently started wearing one on the leg with the most recent DVT. It has been 6 months since I had the PE. I will continue wearing the 30-40 knee high for another 6 months.

    • Hi Betsy! Thanks so much for reading. I am surprised (and then again, I’m not!) that your MD was not familiar with compression stockings. My hematologist told me he wants me to continue wearing them for the benefits. I wear them all day at work and I do take them off when I get home. I don’t wear them as much on the weekends, but then I am up and moving around – not like sitting all week at work. I wear them on both legs, even though I only had a DVT in one leg.

      Thank you for sharing your story – I cannot believe it! I am so thankful you are here to share your story with me. Keep in touch.

  2. Hi my name is Gabby, I am 32 years old. I was googling ” what clothes to wear with compression stockings” when I saw the image above of the open toes stocking in a pretty shoe.

    About 13 years ago ( ohmygosh that’s a long time ago, I was 19!) I was on a long plane flight back to America from my sisters wedding my South Africa. A few weeks later I was in hospital for blood clots in both of my legs, Bi-lateral DVT. I won’t bore you with all the details but I survived and have had surgeries and now on xeralto for life. The main reason for even commenting here was the last paragraph of your post :

    “Wearing compression stockings can be damaging to your self-esteem because unless you wear pants and closed-toe shoes, they are not easy to hide. I’ve been wearing them in spite of my self-esteem lately and decided I am proud to show I am a Survivor.”

    Oh my goodness the self esteem comment was spot on for me! I hated wearing them for the very fact that they were ugly and I did not feel good about myself at all with these tight, Bunchy old lady stockings that looked weird unless you wore long pants and sneakers. I should be wearing knee high stockings everyday but I don’t and I know that it’s bad for me.

    I’ve probably rambled on enough so I will just say thank you for classifying yourself as a ” survivor”, I’ve never thought about it that way but it’s very true!


    • Hi Gabby! Your comment brings a smile to my face. Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing a little about you. To hear you ARE 13 years a Survivor (and yes, you are!) gives me a lot of hope for what the future holds for me – and that is, the future! I have some days that are filled with anxiety still and yes, low self-esteem, but writing about it and connecting with people such as yourself is a source of inspiration. Thank you again and take care!

  3. karen bomotano says

    I am going to be 44 next Wednesday, 09/24. Where has the time gone? Yes, I wear a compression stocking on my right leg because it’s where my DVT is most dominant. I mainly wear mine whenever I go to work because it does help alleviate the pressure that the blood clots cause when I am working.

    I don’t mind wearing it because at least I know that I can show others including myself that I am a survivor. Next month marks 20 years of survival.


    • Karen 20 years a survivor is such an inspiration and beacon of hope for me! Thanks for your input. It does not go unnoticed here. 😉 Have a lovely evening.

  4. I too am a Survivor of DVT ~ a 2 1/2 ft clot in my left leg and was told by the Dr in the hospital that I would need to wear the compression stocking 20-30 mmHg. I am a little ole lady so I don’t mind wearing the bunchy old lady stocking. However, I specifically bought the open toed style because I love, love, love my flip flops. When I saw the Vascular Surgeon the other day he burst my bubble and said he prefer that I wear a shoe that covers the foot to protect it. Now that I am on Xarelto and had been recently stabbed by a pair of dropped scissors I could relate to what he was telling me. He said (with concern) that if the toe got damaged (tripping, flying scissors, knives, etc.) then the toe would more than likely not heal and I would lose it. So, at least for the next year, I will be covering my precious toes to keep them safe AND still getting my pedicure even if they will be hidden in the shoe. Best to all of you that are also Survivor’s ~ wearing compression stockings.

    So he says ~ Cover it to keep it safe.

    • I love wearing flip flops and sandals, I also wear skirts and dresses a lot especially in warmer months. I have open toed stockings and used to wear them all the time with flip flops ) fashion police be damned. I am also on xarelto and wear a medic alert bracelet ( I hope everyone else does too!)

      Carol, even if you are the only one that knows your piggies were pedicured, it still counts! We all have to treat our legs and feet very well, I admit that I have not been kind to my legs and often too hard on myself in general. I only elevate them during the night and don’t wear my stockings 🙁 I should be better.

      Compression hugs to you all!

  5. Stephanie Cramond says

    I have been wearing stockings for 24yrs now. And yes I still ask who’s skin colour is this, as it isnt mine. Yes I tend to live in jeans to cover my stocking, but I went through a time when I tie dyed my white stockinghs and just wore them proudly. I just tell my male friends that they will have to control themselves as I know just how sexy the med stocking is 😉
    Now there are pretty colours and differnt styles to choose from. What I would love is something like the lyphodemer sleves in tattoo and tie dye. Maybe one day…

    • Stephanie, your post made me laugh out loud this morning, thank you! I wear jeans and pants most of the time so I understand. I think no one even knows my stockings are there except me on most days!! Good idea about the tie dye, I never thought of that! Thank you for stopping by and it is great to talk to you.

      • Hello Miss Stephanie, I would love to know how you colored your stockings. I hate that they are white and would love some color. So if you wouldn’t mind telling me how you colored them, I would be eternally grateful. Thanks a bunch and God Bless,

  6. Hi Sara,

    You offer great info, and awareness to everybody. I’m a 54 year old male I started wearing compression pantyhose several years ago do to Chronic Venous Insufficiency. My legs would turn a nice shad of purple, so my Dr recommended 20-30 mmhg pantyhose, they made an incredible difference right away. Being a male I always felt like I needed to hide the hose under long pants. Then about 3 years ago I had 2 TIA’s, after several tests and screenings, I was diagnosed with blood clotting disorder called Factor II Leiden Genetic Mutation, also known as Prothrobin 20210A. I was placed on Aggrenox for life ( an Antiplatelet anticoagulant ). My Dr. then highly recommended with the problems I have with legs I needed to wear the hose from the time I rise till going to bed. So to improve my self esteem, since I had to wear everyday for the rest of my life I decided I’m going to be comfortable, so I started wearing with shorts everywhere I go….I play golf, go to church, football games, you name it, all while wearing my compression hose with shorts. Nobody has ever made a negative comment or funny face. I feel by doing this I also try to spread awareness.
    With this being a genetic disorder we had my daughter, and son screened, and they both have tested positive. My daughter can not take estrogen for fear of the multiplied risk of clots. My children are not required to be on any meds until they show signs of any indications. Thank God they have not.
    I would like to recommend to everybody the site I purchase my hose from, it’s Ames Walker. The hose I’ve been wearing for many years is Ames Walker style #33 beige approx $24/pair, they are the sheerest 20-30 compression on the market. Most people don’t even notice I’m wearing because they are so sheer, and match my skin tone so well. Also they don’t dry the skin like so many other compression hose out there. They stay in place all day long and don’t sag at all. They are very comfortable to wear during the hot Summer months as well. They are very durable, I get a couple of months out of them, I don them with cotton gloves this saves them. So I urge everybody to try these. BTW they now have them in and open toe pantyhose, and they also have a Lace top thigh high with open toe with the same compression also. My insurance takes care of 80% of the cost, I usually order 6 pairs at a time. They are made in North Carolina, so got to feel good about that.
    Most recently I had another episode on the opposite side of my body, this has concerned the Dr’s more, so I’ve now been placed on Xarelto for life. I was doing more research and came across your site. Thank you for taking time to help others out.


    • Hello Terry! Thank you so much for stopping by BCRN and thank you for sharing! I will definitely check out these stockings as they sound like something I would like, and I struggle A LOT with really dry screen. Thank you so much for providing a great resource to everyone here, I really appreciate you taking the time to do so.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story too. I am really happy to connect with you. Thinking of you and your family. I hope you are well and have had a wonderful start to 2015. Keep in touch.

  7. Hi Sara
    Thanks very much for your blog and information. Read your bio. It’s a blessing that out of the adversity you faced with your DVT, you brought about BCRN. Prayers for good health.
    I am a 57 year old male, married with a grown son. I too was a runner. Ran Cross Country and Track in high school, college, an Army veteran who had a chance to try out for the Army’s track team, and later competed in various corporate races and track meets. As I got older my knees began to have problems starting in my early 30’s. I had 2 arthroscopic surgeries both on my left knee. The surgeon in the late 90’s then said I needed to find other activities than running. I ignored and still ran in the 2000’s until it was too painful. By 2009 I was told at age 51 I was a candidate for Total Knee Replacement (TKR) in both knees. It would be another 3 years before I finally got the first TKR on my left knee, then 9 months later on my right knee. After the first surgery it was common to have me wear TED hose as a post op patient. These are anti embolism stockings due to the limited mobility right after surgery. I was required to wear them except when sleeping through the recovery and rehab for about 6 weeks.
    When it came time for the 2nd TKR the same surgeon was not requiring the wear of TED hose post op. Apparently he had read a new paper in medical journal stating it was not necessary or that helpful. I had the old pair packed anyway, just in case I would need them. Well the 2nd night after that surgery the nurse noticed some redness on the calf just below the knee. He asked if the calf was painful when he touched it. It was not painful. As a precaution he and the doctor had me walk around the hospital floor using a walker. Also they said it was ok to put on the TED hose. I did not have a DVT, at least the doctor did not think so, but it was a bit if a scare.
    About 4 months after the 2nd TKR, my wife an RN noticed swelling in the calf area as well as the thigh above the knee. She had me see my surgeon. He said I had edema or chronic venous insufficiency CVI. Additionally I have varicose veins in both legs. He said I would need to wear compression stockings and that it would be full leg hosiery needed, meaning thigh high stockings and / or pantyhose. He said it was a mild version and prescribed the 15-20 mhg gradient. It took some getting used to wearing, but now consider compression hose as part of my daily staples. In alternate between thigh high stockings mostly in warm weather and pantyhose in the cooler months. Also I am able to be active again, only now cycle, swim , walk/hike and lift weights. I wear CEP athletic compression socks when working out, though not all the time. Sometimes I wear CEP compression sleeves on my calves. I also found from a company called Solidea who makes in addition ti nylon compression hose, compression shorts or underwear for men and women. They massage the lymphatic fluids and capillaries and can also be worn with men’s compression socks as well as for exercise. The men’s version are called the Uomo. You might want to check out the women’s version and other compression garments on their website. They have the various gradient types I think right up to 30-40mhg. I wear the compression hose under my trousers and jeans. Only wear with shorts mostly around the house when doing chores. However in recent months have begun to be a little braver wearing tan or beige hose with short in public when going to get gas in the car , walking the dog or going out to the mailbox. As Terry mentioned, people do not seem to notice or pay attention.
    Thank you again Sara for your blog and to the other readers and their comments. It helps sharing information.

  8. Hi Sara and fellow survivors. I have a situation. I had a right femoral tibial by-pass graft due to a blocked artery. I had 93 staples from groin to just above my ankle. Non-smoker, hiker, health nut! I had a heart attack at age 47 so I tried to live healthy.

    Three weeks after the surgery I felt dizzy and blacked out, was extremely short of breath and had a heart rate of 200. I had a massive PE to both lungs, abdomen, heart with structural damage to my heart.
    I spent 7 days in ICU and a further 7 in medical care unit.

    The physio therapist mentioned “lymphatic issues” and suggested stockings for the unrelenting swelling. The incision is still tender and painful 2-1/2 months later. I also have nerve damage to my toes due to lack of oxygen to my foot which is also painful. My toes are bandaged.

    Sorry for being so “”wordy”. Hwever, I would love to know if anybody else has experienced this type of surgery complicated with multiple PE and is able to tolerate medical stockings? Thank-you for sharing Sara and everybody! Anita

  9. I wear Jobst Compression Stockings (Jobst for Men and Jobst Sport). I travel a lot for work, spend a lot of time on my feet, and have had 2 DVT’s in my right calf. My Doctor has me wearing them as a preventative/just in case measure. It took me about a week to get used to them, but now I’m good. It feels weird NOT to wear them.

  10. Sara, thank you so much for this blog site. I was looking through the computer sites to find a way to take the pressure off my toes from the medical compression hose 30 to 40 mhg. My femoral vein was torn and I developed a large DVT to seal the wound so that the wall of the vein could heal shut. The doctor I was finally sent to is a researcher and highly regarded in the clotting/anticoagulant Vascular area of cardiology. He told me I have to wear the stockings for two years of the high medical grade and to also wear the stockings on both legs however the stockings on the non-affected leg don’t have to be as heavy duty as the ones on the right leg where the pain was torn. My friends tell me they do not notice the hose and it looks like a nice tan. I’m getting used to them in all weather but the only problem I am having is the pressure they put on my big toes. Does any one have an idea for taking the pressure off the toes. I don’t think I want the open toed ones especially up north in the winter. Thank you so much for giving me an outlet for questions. And I wish all the rest of you good luck on your experiences also.

    • I had my first DVT episode 4 years ago, another recently in the other leg. I was advised to leave a little space in the stockings in front of the toes when putting them on. This might be of help to you. Reading everyone’s comments has me thinking it would be beneficial to wear them on both feet, and wear shoes for protection rather than sandals. I believe my recent DVT was caused by dropping my laptop onto my foot. Since I have the gene for DVT I will consider wearing compression hose for the rest of my life, unless further studies indicate differently.

  11. Wow, it sounds like vein treatment is very beneficial to those with DVT. I have a friend who is on her feet a lot and has DVT, and she says there is a great amount of pain and embarrassment associated with this condition. These stockings would make the physical appearance of her legs tolerable, and would also help slow the process, so I’m excited to share this with her. Thank you for posting this article, it’s nice to understand this better.

    • Melissa Tyler says

      Kudos and blessings to you for your fine work in identifying so eloquently with those of us in recovery from DVT and PE. You are a fine writer, and I appreciate your honest, forthcoming. and articulate style. As an unapologetic word snob, I find myself turning away from posts and blogs I consider inarticulate or grammatically flawed. Your posts are excellent in content and style for this retired English and psychology teacher! I was heartened and validated as I identified with fears about not wanting to go to sleep for worrying about not waking up. I identified with your anecdote about the Chipotle incident, because I struggle with vanity issues involving the #$%^ stockings. This past fall and current winter season enabled me hide the hideous stockings under pants or boots with midis and maxis, but I dread dealing with them in warmer weather. I despise the way the stockings make my pants fit. I don’t care how hot they are–just the way they will look with ankle pants or crops. I wear a size 2, and I have trouble finding stockings small enough that don’t bunch and cause rubber-banding, which is dangerous. I love style and fashion, and I curate each outfit I put on. I deplore the limitations the stockings place on my fashion choices, but I will not give up searching for the right hose. I found that slipping a pair of sheer, patterned black or white stockings over the dreaded granny hose imparts a cute look with some dresses. I should reveal to you that this petite, vain old lady is 70 years old!

      I had to make dietary changes for my condition, which includes high blood pressure, and I work hard at being a good sport about it. The hubs keeps offering me foods I no longer eat, and it takes all my resolve not to lash out at him about it. Sometimes, I break down and just lose it. I miss the rather generous amount of champagne I once drank regularly. I basically eat as would a Type 2 diabetic, and I miss carbs and desserts. If I cook things for the hubs that I don’t eat, I often have cottage cheese and canned salmon or tuna with salad. I have asked the hubs not to mention this or offer sympathy, and he’s getting better. Sometimes I wonder why he doesn’t expend a bit more cognitive energy in order to better empathize with my struggles, but I shoulder some blame because I keep my complaints to myself most of the time.

      An additional vanity issue for me is that I have hair loss because of the Eliquis and BP meds. My part is growing wider and my scalp is starting to show. As I am barely 5’5″, most people look down on the top of my head. My medical team cautions against taking hair growth supplements. I hope the hair loss does not progress.

      My saddle PE was diagnosed in mid-July, and my hematologist says the clots are gone. No sono or MRI–only bloodwork. I have endeavored to believe him. I’m encouraged to exercise, but my energy level enables me to talk myself out of it most days. I attribute the energy deficit to the BP meds, which disrupt adrenaline production. No wonder I feel blah! I try to concentrate on gratitude for being alive. ALL my doctors continually remark about how lucky I am, but somehow hearing that is less a comfort than they realize.

      Thank you again for your very fine work of enlightenment and encouragement.


  12. I’m hoping you can help me. in Jan 2016 I had a heart attack, blockage in the LAD and required a stint to be placed. they used the left femoral artery to do the cauterization. Went well, but two weeks afterwards, my left leg swelled twice its size, all the way to my hip. The US didn’t show any clots in the leg but they “thought” it was further up in my abdomen but never saw it. They started me on Xarelto, told me to elevate till swelling went down. Never once did anyone say anything about compression stockings. My question is should I be wearing compression socks, should I go to a different dr than the one who did the cath? She did tell me to wear thigh hi socks instead of knee high when I go on vacation in July cause the flights are almost 2 hrs each. What do you think? Glad I found you!

  13. Can you tell me how long should you elevate your leg’s before applying compression stocking (Ted Hose)

  14. I had my varicose veins stripped dec 2015 left leg only got fitted for stockings l have just found out l have dvt in same leg a very large clot lm on xareltois it ok for me to wear the same stocking regards sandra

  15. val woolgar says

    i had no injury, but gained too much weight and sedentary lifestyle was enough to start up chronic vein insufficiency. My ankles were and are always sore, and it is not an easy or fun thing to ‘go for a walk’ for any distance. I have need of both knees to be replaced but do not want to do this as i have so many swelling and problems with my feet /ankles from this CVI issue. I dropped a corner of a book on my foot and still see the indent and scar from that. I can’t imagine what would happen if i had knee operations, would i even be mobile after that? Noone can answer this so I hesitate. I wear Jobst compression stockings ($300.) a wack, and it is hard financially, my insurance does not cover this every 3 month expense! They really feel good, once on, and help keeping the swelling down. My doctor has no idea really of what edema is, or the extent of the pain of this. The place that measured my legs and fitted my stockings are way more aware of the extent edema has in the body than a physician. They sent the measurements away to victoria to get proper fitted ones. I really hate/love these stockings. It surprised and shocked me to find out about this whole matter of edema, lymphedema and all that, and surprisingly many women walk around without them, suffering way worse. I wear both stockings until bedtime. They are annoying but I cannot do without them.

  16. Patricia Matzenbacher says

    Sara, hello, I saw you today at the event of the VTE Educational Symposium in NYC. I loved listening to you.   I am Pat and I am a psychologist from Brazil. I married a new yorker, so I moved to NYC 10 years ago. I had a dvt 9 years ago. And discovered that I am Factor V, so anti-coagulated for 18 months when I was 40. Not an easy experience, and I learned a lot. Long international flights were always a main concern, but my vascular doctor prescribed injections when flying… however I have always been bad with needles. In 2010 travelling on my own I did not inject so well, had an upgrade to business class (hence, did not walk around as much as I do in long flights) result: 12 days after,  dvt with Pulmonary Embolism. Worst summer of my life and I was turning 44. Antigcoagulated for life. It was then I was watching the soccer world cup at home with my leg up, my doctor recommended compression stockings. I did not want them. They reminded me of what my mother suffered wearing them when pregnant and she hated those things! I told my husband I would not wear those beige old-folks-home-style things… until the day I was walking in East Harlem and I saw a happy stylish gentleman in short pants wearing black compression stockings! I told my husband that if they could be black, I would give the compression a try. With my doc’s prescription and measurements taken I got 2 pairs: toes off, and full feet. At first it was hard to wear them. My leg was still very swollen. My dear husband helped me a lot, and I always wore rubber gloves to help me put them on. In a few weeks, I was so happy with the socks, and managed to wear my flip flops , as well as any shoe I wanted. I felt “rested”. At first, they were a bit of a “self-esteem bashing”. But.. since I wear black most of the time, they were incorporated to my usual outfit. Moreover, I wear glasses because I need glasses. I dye my hair because I turned gray at 19, and I like dying my hair. I needed a walking stick when I broke my ankle, were the stockings anything else, but my friends to help me? I love compression stockings. They are part of my life now. They are cool, and fashionable. In summer, I show my painted toe nails in my Brazilian Flip Flips and I do not care if I am wearing dresses or short pants, or short skirts. In formal occasions I wear my knee-high compression darlings with fishnet stockings on top and I am ready to go. They help me, they are not cheap, and they need my attention to be washed every day. But they are good! Memories of a compression stockings lover (6 years and 2 months now). xx

  17. valerie woolgar says

    i wear compression stockings, took a long time to adjust emotionally because all my life i LOVED being without socks even, even all year, and now I am bandaged up with compresstion stockings and ‘sensible granny shoes’. O Dear. For life. I have chronic vein insufficiency and edema on the right foot especially. Sooooo, it has been a struggle, but it has not gotten any worse, so I am blessed. this is my first time ordering from this company and I can hardly wait to see if they work the same as my original way (through a medical office) and it is so much less expensive here!!! I had a late baby at 41 years of age, but gained too much weight, and with all that and being tired, I was not active enough, and this sedentery lifestyle proved too much for my legs. My advice to anyone is to remain active, don’t gain weight like i easily did, and hopefully you will not have CVI. I am still working though so things aren’t so bad.

  18. Thanks for the info. My left leg is bigger then my right, which makes it really hard to find snow boots and jeans to fit because of my left leg. My dr suggested compression socks, so I am searching for something to help with my problem. Oh, I also have thise spider viens that pop out too. Not very pretty but causes no pain.

  19. I was born with May-Thurner Syndrome. About two years ago I went through several procedures. Since I suffer from post-thrombotic syndrome, I have to wear my compression stocking almost 24 hours on my left leg. When I took it off during nighttime, my left ankle would become swollen next morning. I really want to find some “fashionable” or “sheer” compression stocking for the compression level of 30-40 mmHg. However, I was told Grade 2 (or 30-40 mmHg) compression stockings would never be sheer…… I agree that we should not be proud of being survivors. But again, I now hide my legs in long pants all the time……….

  20. Hi guys, great site first of all, I wonder if anyone can advise me,I was diagnosed with dvt in my left calf a month ago and it transpired now I have severe PE in my lungs .. great…. not … what a shock, feel like a bit of a fraud at the moment as the only visible signs is a very very swollen and bruised calf,I almost wish I had a bandage on my head at least I would look ill. Do anyone have any tips at all of what to expect and changes I should make, my BP and inr is sky high which they are dealing with but as a 53 yo Brit living in Spain alot of the advise is lost in translation. Is it ok to wear a compression stocking on my calf with PE in my lungs does anyone know pse.Many thanks.

    • Yes you should wear compression stockings for sure. I have had 2 blood clots, one in calf and one in lung. I wore my stockings for years after. I hope you are feeling better. It is difficult to live with an invisible disease for sure.

  21. Vicki LaVoie says

    Hi there, I was being treated for an injury that was misdiagnosed, one day i lost my walking ability in one leg. They sent me home instructing me to wear a knee brace, it caused sever pain, than went for xrays and than was instructed to wear a tension bandage on my thigh, than asked for an MRI because none of that felt right and wasnt helping with any pain and swelling was not leaving, than they told me to wear a straight brace. My mobilility was challenged as i have permanent weakend repetitve strain in both wrist so was in a wheel chair for close to 3 1/2 months. Anyways, I was waiting to see an orthopedic surgeon during this time finally seen one 4 months after injury. They said no operation was needed, and thought just for safety sake to get in to see if perhaps there is a blood clot. See the swelling never ever left since the initial injury. Long behold i find out same day, yes i have a blood clot. Nothing explained to me of what it is etc, just said call dr and get a perscription. So reception told me what drug i am going to take. Went and got and have been taking it now since April 13th. I still don’t know anything :(. But as i read i see how serious this is. Why wasn’t i hospitalized, I don’t understand. Is the only thing i need to do is take meds, and go about life as norm? I am scared. Plus i have been fighting to see my father as he is passing away at a young age, i haven’t shared what has happened, but from what i read, i understand it probably isn’t safe to travel almost 4hours in a car. Besides that i know it hurts quite a bit even after a half hour. Any advice for someone that just only knows to take meds and wear compression socks? what do these meds do, are they harming in anyway Should i work out to still try and get my leg mobile? should i stop taking B12 in which i am deficient in? What do i do if something happens, i am alone alot here in my home, is this something i should somehow change….I am a frightened woman. Please help

  22. I am in a similar position. Try contacting a Home Health Care supported by Medicare. You will get a physical therapist, occupational therapist and someone to help you bathe. This lasts only for a period of time. I am thinking I must move from my beautiful house to Assisted Living. I can no longer drive. I am a widow with no surviving children. I have to have help fighting this at age eighty. I have a part time “care giver” who does my washing, drives me to doctors appointments and walks my dog. Bless

  23. As a male, may I say thank you to everyone who has contributed their stories.
    Ladies, be aware that some of us guys find the look of cmompresson stockings very sexy… Please don’t think that you look bad wearing them – you look great !

  24. Just been diagnosed with a chronic and acute DVT’s in left leg . Complete shock to say the least , had the first one in January 2017 but put it down to overwork . I did walk a hell of a lot , then in November it happened again with severe pain and unable to put any weight on leg again . The second episode also happened while out walking . Anyway a visit to A&E on second one and then detected . Been wearing thigh-highs for 2weeks now and slowly getting used to them , the only problem I have is they keep rolling down . Read various forums and it appears to be a choice between suspender belt and fixing glue . Any ideas my fellow survivors ?

  25. Where can I find all cotton thigh high 30-40 compression ??

  26. Lois Greene says

    Oh my. I am thrilled I stumbled on to this site. So much wonderful info and lovely people. I had what turned out to be two occurrences of AFib and then a few weeks later pain in my right calf which went away in a few days so I did not notify my doctor. It never occurred to me what was happening. The pain went away because the clot was moving. I am so lucky not to have had a heart attack or stroke. But what I DO have now is pulmonary embolism in both lungs and a piece of clot still in the vessel in my right groin. I am wearing compression stockings on both legs. I got them because I am trying to do everything I can to prevent another clot. None of the doctors I see recommended them. I think that is somewhat strange but I am not a doctor. I am also on Eliquis. They seem to be comfortable and I bought them in various co!ors. Oh I am 71 and female. Thanks again for your wonderful site.

  27. It is summer. I can stand the compression stockings! Would you share your stories about how you deal with this during the summer? Specially when you go to the beach and if you wanna have a walk after, what would you do if you can’t go home and wear the stockings? I bring them with me but It is impossible to wear them because of the very hot temperature and humidity. Would it be a problem if I don’t wear stockings in this case?! I have become obsessed and always look at my leg bacause one year after the PVT I had a kind of a varicose vein, small one but visible. I also wonder if anybody had a similar experience and if you could overcome this problem. Any products or plastic surgery? Many thanks.

  28. I’m 55 years old had many surgeries never kept thigh high stockings on. My doctor said after last surgery to keep on all waking hours and pick one day a week you don’t wear them. I followed that advice and they did not come back. Doctor said we tricked your veins to stay deep in your legs. My day is Saturday “shorts day and it’s great”

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