Are you scheduled for surgery and are wondering why you’ll need to wear stockings? 

These help prevent blood clots, which can travel to the lungs and be fatal.

The stockings are actually called TED hose. TED is an acronym that stands for thromboembolism deterrant.

A thromboembolism is the term referred to deep vein thromboses (blood clots) that can travel to the lungs and become a pulmonary embolism.

“Many data support the use of TED hose but has not shown to prevent postoperative DVT on its own,” says Dr. Kurtis Kim, MD, a vascular surgeon with Vein & Vascular Institute of Central Maryland.

“Depending on the situation (how big the surgery was, how immobile the patient was prior to, does this surgery limit patient ambulation, prior history of DVT, age, ongoing medical issues, etc.), some are placed on prophylactic anticoagulation or placement of inferior vena cava [filter] due to significant predictable risk.”

Anticoagulation refers to blood thinners. The IVC filter is placed in the IVC vein to trap any broken-off DVT fragments that are traveling towards the lungs—like a net catching fish.

“Same orthopedic surgery can pose high risk for patients who has limited mobility already with prior history of DVT vs. 40 year old athlete who is walking out of the hospital,” says Dr. Kim.

“While more standardized treatment guidelines seem ideal, individually tailored treatment is far more important.”

If you’re scheduled for joint replacement surgery or any major surgery for that matter, be sure to discuss DVT prevention with your surgeon.

This includes asking questions about the use of TED hose or “stockings.”

Deep vein thromboses are common, and the postoperative period is one of the riskiest times for these blood clots to form.

Symptoms of a Deep Vein Thrombosis

Though about half of all people with a DVT will not have symptoms, this condition is responsible for the following classic signs:

  • A portion of the leg is reddish.
  • The area of discoloration is swollen.
  • The area may also be unusually warm to the touch — warmer than the surrounding normal areas of skin or the same area on the opposite leg.
  • Cramping or pain in the lower leg or behind the knee.

Though TED hose may be part of the postoperative prevention plan for a DVT, blood thinners and pneumatic compression (leg wrap device) are far more effective.

Specializing in minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Kim combines medical expertise with a caring approach to diagnose and treat patients with circulatory issues including leg pain, swelling and blood clots in the legs and lungs.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: James Heilman, MD, CreativeCommons