Compression Stockings Post-Surgery
The role of Compression Stockings in reducing the risk of post-operative venous thromboembolism

SIGVARIS has clinically proven gradient compression garments to assist in the prevention and treatment of post-operative Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The overall risk of deep vein thrombosis is higher than 20% after major surgery and higher than 40% in patients having major orthopaedic surgery [1].

A recent review of nine randomised controlled trials with 1344 participants that compared graduated compression stockings with no prophylaxis and concluded that stockings reduce the risk of post-operative deep vein thrombosis by 51%[1].

Total hip arthroplasty (THA), total knee athroplasty (TKA), and hip fracture (HF) surgery, which are referred to as major orthopaedic surgery (MOS), are common interventions in the practice of orthopaedics. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is one of the complications which occurs in patients undergoing such procedures. Postoperative deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) can be fatal. The rate of DVT is 45% to 57% after THA, 41% to 85% after TKA, and 46% to 60% after HF surgery if prophylaxis is not used [2].

It is important to understand the difference between TED (Thrombo-Embolic Deterrents) and Graduated Compression Stockings (GCS). TEDs are for Beds! They are designed for non-ambulatory patients, while GCS can be prescribed for ambulatory (mobile) patients.

1 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Venous Thromboembolism. Reducing the risk of venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) in inpatients undergoing surgery. 2007. Clinical guideline No 46.
2 Altintas et al. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in major orthopaedic surgery: A multicenter, prospective, observational study