Thigh compression

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The aim of this overview is to discuss the role of thigh compression for the management of venous and lymphatic diseases. The most important indications for thigh compression are prevention and treatment of sequelae of superficial vein procedures (surgery or endovenous procedures), prevention and therapy of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), post-thrombotic syndrome and lymphoedema. The intended effects depend mainly on narrowing/occlusion of deep and superficial veins on which the body position and the applied pressure play a crucial role. While in the horizontal position thigh veins can be narrowed by the light pressure of a thromboprophylactic stocking, much higher pressure is needed to compress thigh veins effectively during standing and walking. This is shown by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed in the supine and upright position. Using pads, rolls or specially designed devices, the local pressure under conventional compression garments or bandages over a treated vein can be increased considerably. In patients with deep valve incompetence, beneficial haemodynamic effects of strong thigh compression have been demonstrated, but clinical studies in this field are still lacking. Thigh compression reduces oedema in patients with DVT and lymphoedema.

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