The Biggest Misconception about Varicose Vein Treatment

The Biggest Misconception about Varicose Vein Treatment

Change is Inevitable – Even After Varicose Vein Treatments

Shocking Truth about Varicose Vein Treatments You Won’t Like

The biggest misconception about varicose vein treatment that people have is that the treatment will cure them for life.

Unfortunately, venous disease is incurable. There I said it. Regrettably, it’s true.

We live in a messy, confusing and ever-changing world. Conflict, strong emotions, anxiety, and stress are a part of our everyday lives.

Why should our legs be any different especially if you have varicose veins? Your body is constantly changing. Your veins are constantly changing too.

That’s why people usually don’t ask what will happen after their varicose veins are treated.

You should.

The answer is that even after successful vein treatments – over time – you will probably make new veins.



Because the cause of varicose veins is genetic.

Genetics of Varicose Vein Disease

If you had one parent with varicose veins, then there is about a fifty per cent chance that on the day that you were born, you would eventually develop varicose veins.

If both of your parents had varicose veins, then your chances are close to ninety percent of developing varicose veins in your lifetime.

If neither of your parents had visible abnormal veins, you still probably inherited them. It can skip generations and still be passed on to you. Other factors make it worse such as pregnancy and being overweight. These risk factors can exacerbate your genetic predisposition for developing vein problems.

The most common cause for this in genetic terms is autosomal dominant inheritance of incomplete penetrance. Genetic studies also found that varicose veins are less frequently compatible with autosomal recessive inheritance. Therefore, varicose veins are compatible with both autosomal dominant and recessive inheritance. The sex ratio of male to female is 2.39:1. The transmission occurs from male and female to male or female.

Therefore, no matter which treatment method your vein specialist uses to get rid of your unwanted varicose veins, you are probably going to develop new ones.

Your vein specialist can’t change your genetics.

So Should I Even Bother to Have My Varicose Veins Treated?

If you don’t have your veins treated, they will get worse. When your varicose veins get larger, the pressure inside of them increases.  That pressure causes more pain, heaviness, and discomfort.

In addition, complications often occur when the veins inevitably get larger.  Those complications include phlebitis, bleeding and ulcerations around the ankle. If you put off treatments, varicose veins will not get smaller. They will not go away if you ignore them.

What should you do?

The only viable alternative option to treatment is conservative medical management.

Conservative medical management means wearing support stockings. Doctors have conclusively proven that there is no reason to wear them before treatment begins.

In addition, compression support stockings are not chosen by most people as a life-time treatment. Especially with all of the minimally invasive options that are presently available.

Compression support stockings are hot and uncomfortable. They aren’t practical to wear in warm weather or outdoors.

Get your varicose veins treated when they start to become symptomatic.

Would you rather have a cavity filled or a root canal?

If neglected, your varicose veins will only get larger and become more difficult and risky to treat.

Varicose Veins Often Hurt – But Not Always

Varicose veins are seen on the skin’s surface in over ninety percent of vein procedures. There are a number of different vein procedures that can be performed depending on the anatomy and the size of your varicose veins.

The chosen procedure or combination of procedures also depends on your doctor’s familiarity and comfort with the available options. For example, some radiologists don’t feel comfortable performing phlebectomy which is a minimally invasive option for removing very large varicose veins.

A common misconception that many primary care physicians have is that all varicose veins are cosmetic. Some older primary care physicians are more familiar with the results of the old painful stripping operation. They were programmed to believe that the treatment was worse than the varicose vein disease itself.

Men usually present to my office with huge bulging varicose veins. They usually tell me that their veins never hurt until they noticed that their veins became hot, tender and hard all of a sudden. This is called phlebitis which is a complication of neglected varicose veins.

Men lack progesterone which peak around the time of a menstrual cycle in women. That’s why women often complain that their varicose veins hurt more at that time of the month.

As the varicose veins increase in size in men, they become symptomatic. However, men sometimes never develop symptoms at all unless they progress to clotting, brown color discoloration of the skin or ulcers around the ankle.

Occasionally even spider veins will cause symptoms. Unfortunately, no insurance company will cover their treatment even if they hurt.

Even though it is true that many women seek treatment for their varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, if questioned thoroughly, symptoms are often present. When the offending varicose veins are treated, the aching, tiredness, heaviness, and throbbing are usually relieved. Most people are shocked that the “before” pictures that I took of their legs were actually their pictures.

Conclusion – A Hard Truth to Accept About Varicose Vein Treatment

There is no point in delaying treatment of your symptomatic varicose veins.

Insurance companies are restricting the treatment of varicose veins at an increasingly rapid rate. Some have stopped covering varicose veins altogether. That is the trend.

Increasing insurance deductibles are shifting the cost of varicose vein treatments to you. It makes no sense to wait until your veins enlarge or your insurance company makes it too expensive to have your varicose veins treated.

The Happel Laser & Vein Center is the only vein center in Pittsburgh that has been inspected.

Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and has been treating varicose veins for over thirty years.

The doctor whom you choose makes or breaks the success of your treatment. Success is not a given. Many people just choose the closest vein center which they later regret.

Venous disease is even more complicated, complex and variable compared to arterial disease. Take it from a board certified vascular surgeon.

Call us at 724-969-0600 or click here to learn more. You deserve “the best” for the treatment of your varicose veins.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.