Our Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment Cost

Our Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment Cost

Insurance Coverage and Veins

Insurance usually covers varicose vein treatments. I discussed the details of how insurance coverage works for the treatment of varicose veins here. Unfortunately, spider vein treatments are never covered by insurance.

Some people are surprised when I tell them that their insurance company does not cover their small veins or spider veins. They feel that they pay a lot for their health insurance. They expect that all of their veins should be covered by insurance.

However, even if there are symptoms, all insurance company’s criteria state that all small spider veins are cosmetic. The only exception is if they have bled.

I have spent countless hours discussing realistic expectations with potential patients. Most have purely cosmetic concerns about their small veins. When you go to a plastic surgeon to have a procedure to improve your appearance, it is not covered by insurance.

Why would spider veins be any different?

Many people really cannot afford to have these spider veins treated.  Some cannot afford the yearly maintenance treatments that are subsequently usually required.

Lately, with higher and higher deductibles, even varicose vein treatment is now beyond the financial reach for many people. Varicose veins are the large bulging, ropey veins that often cause pain, aching, tiredness, heaviness and swelling.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to discuss spider vein treatments in detail. Sometimes I know that I cannot meet their expectations within their budget. I  discourage treatment in these cases.

Spider vein treatment would be a hardship for people who cannot really afford a luxury service.  In my opinion, proceeding with treatments in these circumstances is unethical.

We are all constantly bombarded by ads on the TV and radio. These ads entice us to consume even if that means putting us further in debt.

Isn’t it time that a responsible, benevolent adviser or trusted physician says enough is enough?

What Does Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment Cost?

Our charge for a spider vein treatment ranges from $200 to $400 per treatment. The final price depends on the extensiveness of the spider veins. The average person needs three to five sessions to get acceptable improvement.  Perfection is not possible.

According to the American Society of Plastic surgeons, the average price for one spider vein treatment across the country is $323. Read more about the typical cost for all kinds of vein treatments here. These prices are the national averages for each type of vein service.

After I discuss realistic expectations, you understand what is truly involved. It is never a waste of time for me to save someone from committing to a service that really doesn’t fit into their budget.

I spend a considerable amount of time discussing every detail of your varicose and spider vein treatment cost, complications and alternatives. When some people say at the end of a comprehensive consultation, “Thanks for being honest!” then I know I have done the right thing. Usually that means that they have decided not to proceed with treatment.

Isn’t doing the right thing what you expect your doctor to do?

Occasionally that type of interaction results in that person telling their friend or relative about our practice and ethics.


My reputation is the most valuable thing that I have.

To me, it is priceless.

My father was a well-respected general surgeon who guided me.

Even though he has passed away, I won’t forget his words of advice and the ethical lifetime lessons that he taught me through his actions.

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.