Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Are compression stockings an effective way of treating Lymphoedema?"

ZocdocAnswersAre compression stockings an effective way of treating Lymphoedema?


I have lymphoedema and am looking for ways to treat it. I will be traveling a lot in the upcoming months. Would you recommend I look into compression stockings?


Lymphedema can be a very tough problem to deal with. In short lymphedema is swelling that usually occurs in one of the limbs (arms or legs). It is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic vessels that normally help to drain fluid from the limbs. When a lymphatic vessel gets blocked, the fluid that would have been drained from that limb builds up. Lymphedema can be caused by many different causes of lymphatic vessel blockage. The most common are surgeries that have removed lymph nodes, tumors that are compressing the lymph vessel and infections that block the vessels. Compression stockings and elevation of the effected leg are sometimes used as the first line therapy for people suffering from lymphedema of the legs. Compression stocking increase the pressure within the leg causing more of the fluid to go back into the blood vessels. This makes the veins transport more of that fluid back into the blood stream. There are instances in which compression stockings should not be worn. Thus, I think you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she will be able to review with you the different treatments for lymphedema and recommend which one will be best in your particular situation. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.