Does Your Pittsburgh Vein Clinic Give You 100% of the Doctor’s Attention?

Does Your Pittsburgh Vein Clinic Give You 100% of the Doctor’s Attention?

The Attempted Marginalization of Varicose Vein Care Doctors

Which Vein Doctor Is Devoted to Your Vein Care Personally? – Dr. John Happel

How do you choose the right Pittsburgh vein clinic?

Recently a patient came for a second opinion from another vein clinic in Pittsburgh.

They described their experience to me.

The title on their door was the xxxx vein center (she thinks – but was not sure).

The names of the physicians who worked there were not displayed.

The doctor’s names were not on the office business cards or the brochure that she was given.

There wasn’t any doctor’s name on the signage indicating which physicians worked there.

The patient couldn’t even remember the name of the vein doctor whom they had seen.

She said that the doctor was indistinguishable from the other providers in that institute.

She felt she was being given the old “treat ’em and street ’em” model and being run through their system so she left.

Vein doctors at these places have become a nameless part of a team instead of its star.

When you see a doctor to treat your vein problem, don’t you want the doctor to treat you?

  • Not a nurse
  • Not a physician’s assistant
  • Not a nurse practitioner
  • Not just someone in a white coat who doesn’t even identify themself

Why is this sporadic approach to medical practice becoming so commonplace?

The Recent Evolution of Modern Health and Varicose Vein Care 

Managed care or cookie-cutter medicine is now being used by business to extract billions of dollars from patient’s pockets.

It’s become the norm because nowadays hospitals are buying and running medical practices.

It’s proven more cost effective to have someone with less training do the same job that a physician used to do.

And hospital administrators are getting away with it.

Hospitals and their business experts have exploited many physicians’ ignorance of finance.

Many doctors have given up trying to run a private practice because they were not trained in business.

The business of medicine has become too complicated.

It requires more time and financial expertise than doctors have.

They have their hands full with the quagmire of trying to manage electronic medical records, government regulations, dealing with insurance denials, and countless political battles.

Enter the hospital and its trained hospital/business administrators.

Hospital’s business oriented model was launched about twenty years ago.

How Today’s Vein Doctor Is Being Pushed Aside

Hospitals and insurance companies now decide medical necessity and have effectively erased doctor-level decision-making.

With this in mind, it’s become commonplace when you go to a family doctor that some type of helper gets involved with your care right off the bat.

You may never even see the doctor anymore.

Since primary care doctors don’t do anything more than the occasional simple procedure, they can get away without actually seeing you anymore.

The hospital that they sold their practice to directs them to practice this way to save money.

This financial plan has worked well for them but is abysmal for you.

It’s simply a cost saving measure.

All kinds of medical providers who are not doctors cost these hospital practices less money in salaries.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t expect a heart or brain surgeon to let their helpers do your heart bypass or back or brain surgery, would you?

Similarly, varicose vein care is complex enough that treatment should not be delegated to those without the proper training and education.

What does all of this mean to you and your varicose vein care?

Vein Problem Diagnosis and Treatments Are Too Complicated for Helpers

Since no two people’s vein problems are alike, every patient requires a customized approach.

Don’t allow the vein doctor’s assistants diagnose, manage or perform procedures on your veins.

At the Circulatory Center in Pittsburgh, they state in their advertisement:

Many of our locations offer flexible hours for your convenience. You can book a free consultation right away, or skip the initial consultation and book a diagnostic ultrasound and examination to expedite treatment.

Some vein centers hire rotating doctors and doctor’s assistants to do whatever you will let them do.

At these kinds of vein clinics, doctors usually only show up for the saphenous vein ablation part of your care and then disappear.

They don’t order the necessary tests or even decide if a test is even necessary in the first place.

Everyone who walks in their door automatically is asked to get a Doppler ultrasound.

Procedures are pushed at these entrepreneurial vein center franchises because that is what makes the biggest profit.

Doctors may not even be involved in the decision to perform a procedure. Afterwards, they leave the follow up care like injection treatments to non-physicians.

Lack of physician involvement includes the initial consultation, the ordering of tests, and the follow up post procedure care.

Doctors are deliberately marginalized at these vein supermarkets to save the vein chain money.

Happel Laser & Vein Center is a Solo Practice Devoted Only to Varicose Veins

Our approach to vein care at the Happel Laser & Vein Center is completely different from what is currently practiced elsewhere in Pittsburgh.

Blockquote the following:

Dr. Happel stated,

“I remain the head of the team. I alone will see you in consultation. I will order the appropriate tests, if needed. I will personally discuss your treatment plan with you. I will determine if you need a procedure. If so, I will perform it, myself. Afterwards, I personally will follow you to ensure that your care worked for you. I never delegate any of these important duties to assistants. This is the traditional one on one doctor- patient relationship not found in other vein clinics in our city.”


As your patient advocate, I need to tell you the truth.

At vein franchises and med spas, doctors have become less and less involved with your vein care. It’s an assembly line approach.

It costs less for franchises and med spas to pay the doctor for only performing the saphenous procedure.

Doctors in these places in effect only work part of the time.

They take part in only a small portion of your total care.

They don’t deal with complications, questions, bad results, recurrences, or anything except for the technical component of just one lesser aspect of your entire vein care.

At the Happel Laser & Vein Center, you will be evaluated and treated by Dr. Happel.

  • He is a board certified vascular surgeon in solo practice specializing in varicose veins.
  • He has over thirty years of experience treating vascular disease.
  • He will treat you personally every step of the way.
  • He will give you meaningful – not marginalized vein care.

Call us at 724-969-0600 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.