Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions About Veins

What is the cause of varicose veins and spider veins?

Heredity and gender are the most important predisposing factors. The underlying cause of most superficial venous disease is related to weak or stretched incompetent valves in the great and small saphenous veins. Valves in these veins become weak allowing blood to pool after it has flowed back toward the foot in the wrong direction. The branches of the saphenous veins become enlarged and appear twisted. These bulging veins are called varicose veins. Symptoms include heaviness, aching, swelling, cramping, itching and sometimes burning. Pregnancy often exacerbates the inherited genetic predisposition to develop varicose veins. Spider veins can be the result of pressure from the deeper veins being transmitted to these smaller superficial veins located just beneath the skin causing them to enlarge and appear unsightly.

Can crossing your legs or walking on concrete or hard floors be the cause of varicose and spider veins?

No. These are common misconceptions and have nothing to do with the formation of varicose and spider veins but are common wives’ tales. We hear this explanation from our patients all of the time but these actions are not related to the cause of your varicose or spider veins.

How are these abnormal veins treated?

Options for spider veins include laser therapy, radio frequency, intense pulsed light treatments and sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injection of veins with a sterile sclerosing solution such as Polidocanol or Sotradecol.

Should I have treatment or just neglect the problem and hope it will get better on its own?

Treatment will usually relieve your symptoms. If neglected, these abnormal veins can eventually lead to complications which include:

Thrombophlebitis – A painful condition that often occurs over and over involving the abnormal vein and overlying skin. It is caused by a blood clot in the diseased vein. The skin becomes warm, reddened, tender, hard and swollen from this blood clot.

Bleeding – It can result significant blood loss and sometimes requires an emergency room visit to cauterize and sometimes suture the vein that is bleeding.

Venous Stasis Skin Changes and Dermatitis – An ugly brown discoloration of the skin which usually occurs above the ankles from neglected varicose veins and venous hypertension.

Skin Ulceration – This usually occurs around the ankles. It is often very painful and requires months to heal.

Will treatment of my veins affect my circulation? Do I need these veins?

When abnormal veins are treated, healthy veins deep in the leg and others nearby will take over and carry the blood back to your heart. Your circulation will be improved by the elimination of these abnormal veins.

Is there any way that I can prevent spider or varicose veins?

No. You may read on the internet or other web sites that elevation, support stockings, weight loss, or frequent walking and exercise will help prevent abnormal veins but this has never been proven. Genetics and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy are the most significant factors associated with the development of spider and varicose veins.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Hair Removal

How does the laser work to remove hair?

Laser hair removal utilizes concentrated light energy that is absorbed by the pigment in the follicle of each individual hair. The laser light is applied to the overlying skin for just microseconds. With each pulse of the laser, many hair follicles are destroyed without any damage of the skin.

Who is a candidate for laser hair removal?

Individuals with dark hair with light skin are the most appropriate candidates for laser hair removal. The pigment in the hair attracts more light energy than the overlying skin. People with blond, red or gray hair are usually not suitable candidates for laser hair removal. People with dark complexions or who are tanned will not respond as well as those with light skin tones because the pigment in the skin will absorb some of the light energy of the laser.

Are all lasers the same?

No. Some facilities use a laser-like device, intense pulsed light which is not really similar to a laser. IPL is slow and commonly described as painful when compared to laser. IPL requires more treatments, is inconvenient and inferior to the use of true lasers to remove hair.

How many treatments are needed?

Multiple sessions are usually necessary to give optimum results. A misconception is that your hair will be permanently removed for life. But in practice the laser affects only those hairs in the active growth phase of their cycle. Further sessions are usually necessary to hinder these hair follicles when they emerge out of their dormant phase. Maintenance or touch-up sessions are usually required depending on the final desired outcome.

Are the results long lasting?

Lasers provide an effective long lasting solution for hair removal. The laser affects only hair in the active phase of their cycle of growth. Hair in the dormant phase cannot be treated by the laser at that particular stage. When the dormant hair once again starts growing again, the laser will become effective at that time. Therefore multiple treatments are necessary.

Is it safe?

Laser has a long standing history of being safe when operated in the right hands. Laser hair removal should be done in a medical office under the direct supervision of a physician who is on site.

Do I need to prepare for my treatment?

We recommend that you refrain from waxing, plucking, or using any depilatories for at least a month before each treatment. For the best results, there must be short stubble visible at the time of your laser treatment. Men need to shave their backs about two or three days before each treatment. Deliberate sun tanning is strongly discouraged for about one month before each procedure.

What can I realistically expect?

The treatment area will become slightly reddened almost like mild sunburn. This usually subsides within a few hours. You need to avoid tanning booths or extended sun exposure. Use of a sunscreen is highly recommended. You should see an improvement approximately two weeks after treatment and the hair will often fall out at that time.

Does health insurance ever cover the laser treatment?

No. Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure and all health insurance companies will not pay for it even if there is a medical condition which is the cause of the abnormal hair growth like polycystic ovary disease.

Take the next step, contact the Happel Laser and Vein Center today.

Take the next step, contact the Happel Laser and Vein Center today.

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Medical Accreditations

Dr. Happel is associated with several medical societies and accreditation groups.

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Medical Accreditations

Dr. Happel is associated with several medical societies and accreditation groups.

Read More ›

IAC Accreditation
American Medical Association