The Complete Beginner’s Varicose Veins Guide – Washington, PA

The Complete Beginner’s Varicose Veins Guide – Washington, PA

The Beginner’s Varicose Veins Guide for the Washington, PA Area

Here is the best varicose veins guide for the basics to understand varicose vein disease and treatment.

Just sayin’. Let’s keep it basic. No fluff. Here we go.

Part of the basics include choosing the best varicose vein doctor in the Washington, PA area.

Make sure that the vein specialist that you choose does not charge an additional facility fee. That facility fee is very costly and pricey. Don’t go to a place that charges for it.

The vein specialists on salary at Washington Hospital charge that expensive extra fee for the facility where they work. That comes to extra thousands of dollars on top of the fee that the doctor charges to do the procedure.

Dr. Happel does not charge an additional facility fee at all. His accredited vein office charges nothing at all for use of his office and personnel to perform your vein procedure.

That is a huge cost savings!

Varicose veins are treated by many different kinds of doctors these days. The best choice would be a vascular surgeon who trained in venous disease and has over thirty years of experience treating varicose veins.

Only one doctor in the Washington County area of Pennsylvania fulfills these important requirements.

John Happel MD specializes only in the treatments of varicose veins.

Other doctors who treat varicose veins in Washington, PA also do cardiology or radiology. They only treat varicose veins “on the side.”

You want a vein specialist!

You do not want doctors who just learned how to treat veins at a three-day conference.

Vein disease is very complex. The venous anatomy varies greatly from patient to patient. Even the abnormal veins on one of your legs may need a very different type of treatment than your other leg.

Dr. Happel’s office is conveniently located nearby.

Now for some basic facts about varicose veins.

What are Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins?

Varicose veins are the large, bulging veins that appear ropey on the surface of your skin. They are usually located in the legs. They often ache and hurt.

They cause more discomfort later in the day. Varicose veins can make your legs swell or feel tired. Insurance usually gets involved with either all or part of the treatments depending on your health plan.

Spider veins are the small veins on your legs that look like someone drew them on with a blue or red pen. They usually don’t cause pain but sometimes they can bleed.

Insurance companies will not pay for spider vein treatments. They are considered cosmetic. Most people just don’t like how they look.

What Causes Varicose Veins?  

The cause is genetic.

Thanks Mom or Dad.

They are usually inherited. Just as eye color is passed from one generation to the next, vein problems can be passed down to you.

The valves inside the veins fail as you age. They are like check-valves. Failure of these valves causes the blood to back up in the wrong direction.

The blood should only travel toward your heart in your veins. The veins are like a one-way street.

When the blood backs up and travels toward your feet, the veins enlarge and become swollen. Gravity pushes blood toward your feet when you stand or sit.

The fluid can leak out of the veins and cause your legs and feet to swell.

If the varicose veins are ignored, the blood can also leak out its pigment onto the skin around your ankles causing them to turn a brown color.

Later, skin ulcers and sores may form around the ankles.

What is the Treatment for Varicose Veins?

A varicose veins guide would not be complete without discussing treatment.

Since varicose veins are all different, the treatments depend on the cause of your varicose veins. Many times, the saphenous veins are the root of the problem. The saphenous veins are lasered.

Laser treatment for varicose veins is very successful. Radiofrequency is another treatment that works very well. These methods close the saphenous veins.

The surface varicose veins located on the surface of the skin cannot be lasered.

The surface varicose veins require either injections of medicine or removal through needle holes. All of these treatments can be done under local anesthesia.

You do not have to go to the hospital for your vein treatments.

You do not have to go to sleep for these procedures. General anesthesia is the biggest risk for most procedures in hospitals.

What is the Recovery Period?

Usually compression support stockings are used for comfort and help with the return of the blood through your remaining veins. No sutures or incisions are required so there is no scarring.

You may have some slight bruising or inflammation, which is easily controlled. Normal activities are resumed immediately.

Unlike the old stripping operation, no hospitalization is required. If a radiologist tells you that the procedure must be done in a hospital, there are higher risks.

Modern vein procedures do not require that you go to the hospital where your chances for a complication are higher.

The undisputed best location to have the highest chances of a getting a safe and effective varicose vein treatment is at an Intersocietal Accreditation Commission approved vein center.

It is important to know that varicose veins surgery and laser has moved from hospitals to vein centers located in an office setting. You must make sure that the vein office is accredited and has been inspected.

The Happel Laser & Vein Center is the only accredited office in the Washington, PA area.

The following link will explain more about accreditation for vein offices and its importance. Accreditation ensures safety, quality and that your results will be the best possible.

Vascular surgeons who specialize in veins are your best choice.


Great varicose vein care begins with the doctor and ends with the vein center.

Experience and training determine your outcome. The doctor will make or break the success of your varicose vein treatment.

Dr. John Happel has the longest vein experience in the Washington, PA area as a vein doctor and as a certified vein specialist.

Reputation and core values are important when seeking out help for your varicose veins problems. Our vein treatment center was the first and remains the only vein center in the area that has attained full accreditation.

Any doctor can legally treat your varicose veins.

Success is not a given. Too many unqualified varicose vein doctors are learning on people’s veins.

  • Choose the only vein doctor who specializes in varicose veins in the Washington, PA area.
  • Choose a board certified vascular surgeon who has the longest experience and the best reputation in the Washington County area.
  • Choose the only vein center office in the area that is accredited.

Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery. He finished his vascular surgery fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

To schedule an appointment for a consultation, call us at 724-969-0600 or contact us here to learn more.

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.