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The term “compression devices” can be utilized for a variety of reasons in the medical community. Anyone can go online and purchase compression stockings. But, there are intermittent pneumatic compression devices which are different from stockings. Then, there are other compression devices on the market that are custom-made for specific patients.

No matter the product: compression devices are considered a medical device. Whether it’s hooked to a pump or a stand-alone garment, each item has a specific purpose.

Varieties of Compression Sleeves

There are a variety of compression devices available to patients.

Compression stockings are often utilized to reduce swelling. These stockings gently apply pressure to restore blood flow. There are various designs of compression stockings to help with different types of diagnosis. 

Not all compression devices are the same. For example, DVT prevention devices cannot be used to treat diagnosis such as lymphedema.

Intermittent pneumatic compression sleeves are typically prescribed by a doctor following a surgery to reduce risk for DVT, or deep vein thrombosis.

Risks of DVT & How Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Can Help

Anytime someone undergoes surgery, there are many risks involved. Even for patients in tip-top health, concerns such as infection, bleeding, and complications with anesthesia are legitimate.

Even beyond the procedure, there are risks involved with recovery. One of those risks: blood clots developing into deep vein thrombosis. Being sedentary following surgery coupled with bleeding during the surgery, creates an environment where blood clots can be deadly.

Wondering how blood clots can be life threatening, or life saving? Here is a guide to blood clots.

Pharmaceuticals vs Compression for Blood Clots

Lots of pharmaceuticals are consumed before, during, and after a major surgery. And with every medication comes side effects or risks. While some pharmaceuticals are necessary, patients can utilize intermittent pneumatic compression devices to help prevent blood clots instead of an additional prescription. This is a more natural way to restore blood flow back to its original state after surgery.

Applying intermittent compression sleeves or compression socks after surgery helps support circulation. Intermittent pneumatic compression sleeves are a preventative measure for deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. 

There are many risk factors for DVT. One of the main concerns is lack of movement which is common after surgery. Inflating and deflating movement simulates walking which is a healthy movement of blood and prevents clots from forming.

DVT prevention devices can be utilized in a clinical or at-home setting. Or, as some patients travel out of state for surgeries, devices can be used in a car and even on an airplane. 

Pneumatic compression devices can either be operated with a manual or electric pump. To support circulation, the pumps cause the sleeve to inflate and deflate. During the compression, blood moves in its natural state from the body to the heart. This healthy motion can reduce risk of blood clots forming in the deep veins that leads to deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism

How Do Compression Devices Work?

While there are a variety of compression sleeves, each product works virtually the same way. The sleeve attaches to a bulb or electric compression machine, then the sleeves inflate and deflate. This process should not feel painful or uncomfortable. 

The inflation and deflation motion helps circulate blood, offering the benefits of movement without additional medication. There are virtually zero side effects of utilizing the compression devices after a surgery. However, some patients will feel warmth under the sleeve, and in rare occasions have a reaction to the material used. 

Inactivity after surgery can lead to blood clots even for individuals that are considered low risk. Other factors such as weight, family history, and smoking can cause a patient to be more susceptible to DVTs.

DVT Prevention Alternatives to Compression Devices

Of course, the alternative to pneumatic compression devices is prescribed pharmaceuticals such as blood thinners. However, these scripts can bring higher risk to a patient such as excessive bleeding.

Movement assists with healthy blood flow. During recovery, patients can participate in simple foot exercises such as pointing and flexing the foot. Once able to do so, patients recovering from surgery should take short walks throughout the day to help prevent blood clots. 

What is the Best Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Intermittent pneumatic compression devices are typically diagnosed to prevent and treat blood clots. If you are interested in talking with Compression Solutions about different DVT prevention options, talk to our sales team.

Lymphedema & Compression Devices

While pneumatic compression is used to prevent DVT, mechanical compression pumps are used to treat lymphedema patients. This is an FDA-approved device that pumps sequential compression to move fluid distally to proximally. It is similar to DVT but compresses at a different rate.

Lymphedema is caused by a damaged lymph node which leads to an accumulation of lymph fluid causing swelling typically in the arm or leg.

Read more about how compression devices are now covered by Medicare.

Venous Ulcers & Compression

Another great way to utilize compression therapy is to treat venous ulcers.

Compression wraps are not necessarily prescribed to patients with venous ulcers. Instead, patients experiencing ulcers treat with compression stockings. These stockings will keep blood flowing back to the heart. Restoring that natural movement of blood helps ulcers heal more quickly.

Compression, DVTs, And Other Diagnosis

The compression market is growing, estimated to reach $4.1 Billion by 2030 in the United States. This growth due to the variety of compression devices on the market coupled with accessibility thanks to legislation such as the Lymphedema Treatment Act. In addition, this is a great resource for outpatient surgery centers to use in order to reduce risk for readmissions.

Grow with Compression Solutions

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