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There are so many prescriptions that can be used before, during, and after surgery. And with every medication comes side effects or risks. While some pharmaceuticals are necessary,  there are other ways to prevent blood clots or Lymphedema in a more natural way and without additional prescriptions. 

Applying intermittent compression sleeves or compression socks after surgery helps support circulation, and is used as a preventative measure for deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. 

There are several risk factors for DVT, but 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.

Compression Sleeves

There are a variety of compression devices on the market. 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. 

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

Intermittent compression sleeves are typically prescribed by a doctor following a surgery. Some of these devices combine cold therapy with compression, some are tubeless reducing a possible tripping hazard, and other sleeves are created for specific joints. 

However, all of these 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. 

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. 

While there are certain factors that can put someone at higher risk for DVT, inactivity after surgery can lead to blood clots even for individuals that are considered low risk. 

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. 

Lymphedema & Intermittent Compression Devices

While used to prevent deep vein thrombosis, some doctors will utilize pneumatic compression devices could help Lymphedema. 

This is caused by an accumulation of lymph fluid that causes swelling typically in the arm or leg. Lymphedema usually starts when the lymph system is damaged. Compression therapy has been used to help reduce lymphedema although the sleeves are not intended to treat this symptom.

Venous Ulcers

Another great way to utilize compression therapy is to treat venous ulcers. This type of ulcer typically is formed due to damage to veins or varicose veins. Compression wraps are not necessarily prescribed to patients with venous ulcers however, the wraps will keep blood flowing back to the heart. Restoring that natural movement of blood helps ulcers heal more quickly. 

Modern DVT Prevention

Compression Solutions is a trusted partner helping with safe post-surgical practices and at-home treatment options.