Being a Vascular Surgeon Varicose Vein Specialist

Being a Vascular Surgeon Varicose Vein Specialist

Treating varicose veins is my specialty and Pittsburgh is the place where I grew up and continue to practice.

I love being a varicose vein specialist.

I really do.

I love watching my patient’s smile when I finish their treatments.

I love that feeling when people tell me on that final visit that they are going to send their relatives with veins to see me.

There is no better way to say “Thanks”.

I look forward to helping their relatives who had been suffering with veins for years. Often they were afraid to seek treatment because of the fear of the old painful, scarring surgical procedures that were done in the past.

Just Do Your Best

It truly is an honor to be able to practice modern minimally invasive vascular surgery.  I am lucky to have found my niche. Bob Dylan once said “Everything passes. Everything changes. Just do what you think you should do”.

My father was a general surgeon. He often told me in his own way that if I just did a good job that all the rest would take care of itself. I think that they were both saying the same thing.

I am 60 years old and am at the peak of my career. I recently recertified and passed my boards again in both vascular surgery and vascular ultrasound interpretation.

Although it may sound immodest, I feel confident in saying that there isn’t another varicose vein specialist in Pittsburgh like me.

No doctor in Pittsburgh can match my training, experience, qualifications and ability to treat varicose vein disease. People always say they want the “best” when they see a doctor or specialist. For vein problems the best choice is obvious if you do your research and homework.

Pain and ache from varicose veins

You Pay a Lot For Your Insurance; Choose the Best

Unfortunately many people choose the closest doctor or the place that they saw that repeatedly advertises.  As a board certified vascular surgeon, I have every tool that is needed to treat all kinds of vein problems.

Other doctors claiming to be a varicose vein vein specialists are limited in their approach.  An old saying is …  “If all you have is a hammer then everything you encounter is a nail”. That means that some doctors who treat veins are only able to do injections of medicine.

Other doctors are only trained to use a laser. I am trained in all the available latest minimally invasive techniques and have no limitations at all.  That means customized treatment for your vein problem by “the best”. You pay a lot for your health insurance and deserve the best.

I feel extremely lucky because every single day I learn something that’s new, exciting and rewarding. Sometimes it’s just learning the latest technique.

Other times it’s fine tuning a proven method of fixing vein problems.  Learning from other doctor’s experiences that I learned from vein conferences or the internet is rewarding. Sometimes reading journals or keeping up with the latest medical text books or carefully reexamining what works best after treating people’s veins for 28 years is exciting for me.

Experience is important but being trained at the Mayo Clinic was the key that opened the door. There is no medical facility for medical training like it anywhere. I consider myself fortunate for having had the opportunity to learn from the very best doctors at the very best medical institution in the entire world.

Every day I have the privilege of meeting new people.  Their problems are never the same. The challenge of designing a treatment plan that will work best for each individual to meet their goals makes my day.

It never gets old and boring.

It’s not like working on a factory line where you have to do the same thing over and over. In fact, I often forget to eat lunch because I usually get so wrapped up with what I am doing.

I’m Proud Being a Varicose Vein Specialist

A patient told me last week that he thought that I was fortunate because my occupation involved having an immediate positive effect in people’s lives.

As a businessman he was envious that his profession lacked that human touch. For him making money was the only gauge of success. Relieving pain and suffering is the goal of all doctors.

But as a board certified vascular surgeon, the speed in which that healing occurs is what makes it even more special for me. I love what I do because it directly affects my patient’s lives in such a fast and positive way. That feeling is extremely satisfying.

My life’s work is very rewarding and I am truly blessed. My patients continually tell me that I can’t ever retire. They say that either their relatives or they may need me down the road since veins are a genetic problem. I eagerly look forward to continue treating many more people with vein problems in the future.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my past patients for their kindness and for their faith in me.

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.