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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36099
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Recently had bilateral varicose vein removal. Everything seemed

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Recently had bilateral varicose vein removal. Everything seemed to go OK, everything healing and I am walking 2 to 3 miles a day without pain. Only issue is that the compression stockings that I have to wear for the next two weeks are making my legs feel very cold. To clarify, it is only a sensation of cold - my toes feel warm (ish) to the touch. I normally walk long distances without pain and my GP seems to agree that there is no evidence of restricted blood flow. Recently tested OK for Diabeties and thyroid etc. Would appreciate your advice on how to proceed as it is a difficult sensation to put up with. I am 67 years of age.
Hi. Just to clarify is this actually a cold feeling or is it more a pins and needles feeling? Was it present from the minute the stockings were placed on your legs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is definitely a cold feeling that sometimes reflects in a shiver in my upper arm. I did not get the feeling whilst the post operation bandages were in place but it occurred pretty well as soon as the stockings were put on my legs. I have had something similar in the past but just the top of one foot. This went away following some phisio. It may not be helpful but it seems to me to be something to do with ambient temperature and the skin.

OK--and we can continue after this if you'd like. My first thought is that the stockings are too tight for what they are supposed to do, and that is just to compress the superficial veins in your legs for those two weeks. There could be a small reduction in the arterial flow in you legs that's causing the coldish feeling but not enough of a reduction to cause your toes to actually feel cold. You should talk to your surgeon about using a fresh set of stockings that are better fitted to your legs.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They don't particularly feel tight and I have already been back to the hospital for a replacement pair as the originals did not fit very well above the knee. Don' know whether this helps but I thought I would buy a pair of thermal long johns to see if they would warm up my legs. Immediately I put them on over the compression socks there was a feeling of cold. When I returned home I removed the support stockings entirely for a short period and this reduced the sensation of cold.

OK. Then believe it or not it's probably a kind of allergic reaction where the stockings are causing histamine to be released into the soft tissue of your legs and the sensation, instead of being an itchy feeling, is more of a cold feeling. I suggest you try an antihistamine like benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec on a daily basis for as long as you have to wear the stockings to help you deal with the symptoms.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK. The product I have in the cupboard is "Loratadine", would that do?

And just because this has caused me a considerable amount of distress ... and I know nothing in life is guaranteed ... but can I discount the more serious issues such as poor circulation or nerve damage?

That's the same as Claritin and the usual dosage is one tablet every 24 hours. No, this isn't a circulation problem as in arterial circulation and since it only began when the stockings were applied it isn't anything like a diabetic neuropathy. I'm sure it will resolve completely once you no longer have to wear the stockings. Let me know how it goes and please remember to rate my service to you
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