ApparelFrom post-surgical compression garments to elastic-waist pants and non-slip socks, specialized medical apparel can make your life easier whether you’re a patient or caregiver. The most common types of medical apparel include medical compression garments, footwear, and surgical recovery garments.
Compression GarmentsMedical compression garments are made of an elastic material such as spandex and provide continuous compression. They can give various compression levels, from light (such as compression stockings readily available over-the-counter at pharmacies) to firm compression for which you need a prescription.
Compression stockings are the most common type of compression garment, but they come in various shapes and styles, from bras to nearly full-body compression suits.
Compression garments are commonly worn after plastic surgery and may be recommended after other procedures to reduce the risk of blood clots or for support during healing. Compression garments also treat varicose veins, lymphedema, edema, deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, and several other disorders.
Medical FootwearMedical footwear includes post-surgical shoes, walking boots, and even non-slip hospital socks.
- Post-operative surgical shoes are often part of the treatment plan after foot surgery or trauma to the foot. They are available in a huge variety of styles and at various price points, from purely functional open-toed sandals with Velcro closures to more stylish leather or suede models. Post-op footwear has a stiff, non-slip sole, open toes, a toebox with extra room, and adjustable straps.
- Walking boots, also known as orthopedic boots, are often used as an alternative to a cast. They consist of a rigid, hard plastic shell that immobilizes the foot and ankle, secured by adjustable straps. As the name implies, walking boots allow the wearer to put weight on the injured part even as it heals.
- Non-slip socks and slippers also have their place. While not intended for wear in the wake of foot surgery, they can be a comfortable, easy-to-don option when recovering from other medical procedures. In addition, the non-skid sole provides stability and lessens the likelihood of falls.
Recovery GarmentsAfter surgery, recovery garments can make it easier to change dressings and care for the surgical site. They can also make the process of getting dressed and undressed simpler and more comfortable.
Recovery garments often employ rows of snaps or magnetic closures in place of seams so that the garment can be easily removed or opened. Recovery garments are available in many styles, including pants, shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops. Full-dignity hospital gowns (those without an open back) may also be an option.
When shopping for medical apparel, your needs may depend on your condition or your circumstances. Some medical garments, such as high-compression garments, may require a doctor’s prescription. Others, such as medical footwear, should be discussed with your doctor to ensure that you’re getting the product most suited to your unique situation.