Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
OBJECTIVE: A prospective, randomized study to evaluate efficacy, safety, and comfort of thigh-high, round knitted medical compression stockings (MCSs) with different pressure six weeks after vein surgery.
METHODS: Female patients undergoing vein surgery were randomized for a compression therapy with low (18-21 mmHg, group A) or moderate (23-32 mmHg, group B) pressure MCSs. Follow-up was done by a phlebological experienced, blinded physician (pressure control, clinical aspect, duplex scan, and questionnaire) one and six weeks after surgery.
RESULTS: Totally, 88 patients (41 in group A and 47 in group B) were analyzed. One week after surgery, patients of group B had significantly lower edema scores than patients of group A either in the clinical assessment (0.7 vs. 0.3; p = 0.016) or in the B-mode scan (0.9 vs. 0.4; p = 0.013). Significant less patients of group B had a feeling of "tightness" (p = 0.01) and significant more a reduction of discomfort (p = 0.01) after week 1 but with no significance in week 6. There was no significant difference according to other clinical and ultrasound findings such as hematoma, infection, hyperpigmentation, cording, or thrombosis after one or six weeks. In week 1 and week 6, more patients suffered from pain in group A (week 1 p = 0.24, week 6 p = 0.063). Application of the MCSs was easier in group A in week 1 but similar in groups A and B in week 6. Muscle vein thrombosis occurred in one patient of group A.
CONCLUSION: Compression stockings with a pressure of 23-32 mmHg facilitate a faster resolution of clinical and ultrasound verified edema and the subjective feelings of pain, tightness, and discomfort of the leg in the early period after surgery but have no difference in the longer post-surgical period compared to stockings with a pressure of 18-21 mmHg.