Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Expert Forum
Compression Stockings
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Questions in the Peripheral Arterial Disease forum are answered by Dr. Lee Kirksey, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Topics covered include abdominal aortic aneurysm , amputation, arteriovenous fistula, atherectomy, carotid artery surgery , cholesterol , claudication, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) , endovascular aortic stent graft (EVAR), stent placement , stroke prevention, varicose veins , and venous insufficiency .

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Compression Stockings

Dear dr. Kirksey
I posted before re. factor V Leiden and DVT.  In a few weeks, I have to take two consecutive 10+ hour flights. I want to wear compression stockings, because of my risk factors. I have some varicose veins as well. Can I wear knee or thigh high stockings or will the bands be bad for blood circulation?  I think pantyhose will be too hot, as I always wear pants while travelling, but if I have to, I will wear them. Which brand would you recommend or are they all more or less the same? Should I ask my doctor about a prophylactic blood thinner? I have never taken any before. My blood type is B+ and I read somewhere that it is another risk factor for DVT. Thank you for your time.
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469720_tn?1388149949
If I recall, you have had a dvt diagnosed. The important point to determine would be if the dvt has resolved. If not, it could increase your risk of another event and it would influence the type of treatment. The risk factors for dvt is a triad of vessel injury, stasis (non movement of blood) and hypercoagulable states. On a long trip you would need to walk around frequently to minimize the stasis. This is by far the most important thing that you can do.

Physician prescribed compression stockings are helpful. I dont have a preference of knee high vs thigh high and there are no proven benefit of thigh high or knee high. So I personally prescribe knee high.

Its important that they be prescription. Over the counter dont function the same and provide very little benefit.

The role of prophylactic blood thinner depends on the previous diagnosis of dvt and your doctors judgement. I do have patients that have high risk factor profile that travel long flights and I prescribe what referred to as prophylactice low molecular weight heparin injection. Happy travels
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Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
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