Do Compression Stockings Help Prevent Varicose Veins?

Do compression stockings really help with varicose veins? It seems to me they are making things worse. My veins are getting closer to the surface at much quicker speed than before. At loss on what to do. My appointment with my doctor for Varicose veins treatment is still on June 17th.

Doctor Answers 8

Varicose vein treatment and ambulatory venous hypertension

Short stretch elastic compression stockings reduce ambulatory venous hypertension and improve calf muscle pump function, thus reducing the progression of venous disease and improving symptoms. Compression stockings will not eradicate varicose veins. A trained phlebologist will best be able to address your concerns with an in-office duplex examination.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Support stockings for Varicose Veins

Regularly wearing elastic support stockings can compress your veins, helping the blood to better flow and avoiding varicose veins and spider veins.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Compressions Stockings and Leg Varicose Veins / Spider Veins

Yes, for most patients compressions stockings do help to slow the process of developing more and worse varicose veins.  And many patients do report relief of some of their swelling and pain symptoms when wearing compressions stockings.  But compression stockings will not remove or cure the varicose veins that are already present, they may just make them feel better.  And although compression stockings do slow the spread of varicose veins, the veins will continue to worsen over time despite the use of compression stockings.  Also, the compression stockings do need to be worn continuously everyday to have adequate effect.  Some patients do not get relief of symptoms with the use of stockings and can even report that their symptoms are worse when wearing them.  Stockings will not cause your veins to get worse.

If you are not getting good relief with stockings, you should visit with a vein specialist to discuss your other options.

Joel Gotvald, MD, FACS
Austin Vascular Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

VenaSmart compression stockings for symptoms of venous insufficiency

Absolutely recommended to help relieve symptoms from both venous insufficiency and inflamed cords of varicose veins. Of course, there are some patients whose symptoms are worsened with the use of stockings. In that case, you can take horse chestnut extract (aescin) or citrus bioflavonoids formula (Varicosamin). 

Varicosamin is a bioflavonoid formula which is also great for venous insufficiency symptoms. 

We recommend LATEX FREE graduated medical grade compression stockings, 20-30 mm Hg, manufactured by VenaSmart. These are high grade stockings that come knee high or thigh high and pantyhose and are durable and affordable. They have extra space at the toes for maximal comfort. 

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Compression Stockings Varicose Veins Insurance coverage

Compression stockings help with varicose veins when they are worn by the patient, but not after they are removed. They act by compressing the valves in the veins, making them partially functional and lessing the venous reflux, or backward flow of blood, away from the heart. They squeeze some of the fluid out of the leg and can reduce swelling but of course, as soon as they are removed, their effectiveness stops.

Many insurance companies demand that the patient jump through this hurdle of "conservative therapy" before allowing the vascular specialist to procede with any procedure to treat the veins. Once the stocking therapy is documented for at least 6-8 weeks and the patient is continuing with symptoms, often a procedure to provide a long-lasting therapy for the vein problem is authorized.

Jeffrey W. Kronson, MD
Los Angeles General Surgeon

Excellent question

There is no evidence that compression therapy halts the progression of varicose veins but in my opinion i believe that it does slow how quickly symptoms progress.

Wearing them daily will just potentially delay the onset of required treatment for your varicose veins.  In all likelyhood, you will still need to have treatments if you are predisposed to this problem.


Craig Crippen, MD
Kelowna Physician

Varicose vein treatment and compression stockings

Compression stockings may not fully prevent varicose veins, but can alleviate symptoms and buy you some time before you require more agressive treatment. Varicose vein etiology is complex (genetics, occupation, age, sex, etc) and compression stockings are part of the treatment options. Do not feel frustrated by the situation right now! There have many advances in the treatment of varicose veins in the past 10 years.

Use of a duplex doppler can identify venous reflux and new tehnologies with endovenous laser treatments make treatment much more simple. EVLT (endovenous laser treatment) can be performed in the office, under local anesthesia, and you can walk out of the office and return to work the next day. Compare this to vein stripping whcih is performed in the hospital, under general anesthesia, and may require several days of strict bedrest! Varicose vein treatment has come a long way!

Charles K. Lee, MD, FACS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Usually yes

Compression stockings are recommended to prevent worsening or recurrence of varicose veins. Since your appointment is still a few weeks away, I would recommend going to a store that specializes in compression stockings. It sounds to me that yours might be too tight. To really help, they should be graduated.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.