Bandages or double stockings for the initial therapy of venous oedema? A randomized, controlled pilot study

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Abstract

Objective/background Treatment for leg oedema conventionally starts with compression bandaging followed by elastic stockings once swelling is reduced. The aim was to investigate if a kit consisting of a liner and outer stocking, each exerting 20 mmHg of pressure, would be equally effective in achieving and maintaining volume reduction compared with short-stretch bandaging (2 weeks) followed by a class II (23-33 mmHg) stocking (2 weeks). Methods Forty legs (28 patients) with chronic venous oedema were randomised to either short-stretch bandages applied weekly for 2 weeks, followed by an elastic stocking for 2 weeks (group A) or a light stocking ("liner") for 1 week followed by superimposing a second stocking for 3 weeks (group B). Interface pressures and leg volumes were measured weekly. Results Despite differences in the pressure (median ± interquartile range) applied (bandage: 67 mmHg [55.7-73.0] vs. liner 24.5 mmHg [21.2-26.5]) volume reduction after 1 week was equal (12.8% [8.7-16.5] and 13.0% [10.4-20.6]). After 2 weeks (group A: 17.8% [10.6-20.0] vs. group B 16.2% [13.0-25.4]) and 4 weeks (group A: 17.3% [9.6-22.8] vs. group B: 17.0% [13.1-24.1]) volume reductions remained identical. Conclusions The initial improvement in leg volume (1 week) was independent of the pressure applied and the reduction was maintained by superimposing a second stocking. This offers a simple alternative for managing leg oedema with reduced staffing costs. © 2013 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Mosti, G., & Partsch, H. (2013). Bandages or double stockings for the initial therapy of venous oedema? A randomized, controlled pilot study. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 46(1), 142–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2013.04.015

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