When Did Varicose Vein Doctors Become Entrepreneurs?

When Did Varicose Vein Doctors Become Entrepreneurs?

The Doctor’s Franchise Is In

Veins are like hemorrhoids. In fact, hemorrhoids are simply just varicose veins that are swollen and painful.

Varicose veins used to be the equivalent to pond scum in the medical world. Few doctors wanted to have anything to do with them.

General surgeons used to be the only doctors who could treat varicose veins. They did the only known procedure that they could. They stripped veins. It was brutal.

General surgeons hated doing vein stripping. It was the only way to treat varicose veins in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It was barbaric. It was also very, very painful.

There were lots of ugly scars. New veins always came back eventually. For that reason, add frustrating to the list. It was frustrating for both the patient and the surgeon.

Then came the laser. Laser arrived around the year 2000. Laser revolutionized the varicose vein field. Surgery was no longer required to remove varicose veins.

Up until then, there was a market void because no one wanted stripping. About half of the population will get varicose veins to some degree.

The practice of treating veins was all of a sudden “in”. There was huge demand since varicose veins are so prevalent. To millions of people, it is disabling. The truth is that in 80% of people with varicose veins, it is really just cosmetic.

Franchised Vein Practices are Really Big Business

Some entrepreneurial varicose vein doctors took it to the next level. Ah, let’s franchise it, like McDonalds.

Vein disease was the next big business enterprise. So they made it a business venture.

Why not?

Businessmen run hospitals. Businessmen also run health insurance companies.

Doctors are at the mercy of these forces. They are pressured to make a profit. Market considerations, don’t ya know.

The bottom line is that modern medical care is run by financiers and bean counters.

When did the practice of medicine become a business?

“Medicine is no longer the science and profession it used to be,” says Dr. Richard Anderson, a 44-year-old vascular surgeon and Veintec franchisee based in Dallas. “Everything’s being scrutinized, from the medicine prescriptions you write out to how long someone’s in the hospital. Franchising lets you practice your profession without all the constraints you have in your other practice.”

When you type in medical entrepreneurs on a search engine or click the preceding link, an article that pops up is about varicose vein doctors franchises!

No surprise there.

Can Abuses Occur in Medicine If Profit Is the Motivation to Treat?

Taken to the next level, that type of thinking by varicose vein doctors can lead to the exploitation of unsuspecting patients. That’s when unnecessary laser surgeries and ultrasounds become everyday occurrences.

That is not an exaggeration.

Choosing Wisely is an initiative by the American Board of Internal Medicine for the recommendation of “Best Practices.”

They state that routine ultrasounds should NOT to be done for patients with only spider veins.

These experts recommend that physicians and patients should question this type of practice. They state that:

  1. Avoid routine venous ultrasound tests for patients with only spider veins.
  2. These tests are unnecessary and are not required.
  3. Treating the underlying leg vein problem is seldom necessary.
  4. Since the saphenous vein can be used as a replacement artery for blocked coronary or leg arteries, it should be preserved whenever possible.

The Society of Vascular Surgery formed a task force to make these recommendations urging varicose vein doctors to take the high road.

Conclusion: Varicose Vein Doctors 

I treat veins exclusively. My name and reputation are on the line every day.

My office is not a brand name company where after you leave you can’t remember the name of the person who you saw.

I am a solo practitioner. Solo medical practice is a dying breed.

I offer a traditional one on one approach.

This type of medical practice is unique.

There is no handing your care off to another “provider” in the middle of your treatment. You will see me and me alone from the beginning to the end. No ancillary medical people will diagnose or treat you.

Only large franchises can afford to advertise every day on television. That’s the irony. Advertising works.

People seek help for their veins at these vein franchises. Some places treat patients with the primary motivation being to become as profitable as possible. For them, it is just big business after all.

Do your homework before you set foot in these types of practices.

Or just call us at 724-969-0600 or contact us if you are seeking a traditional practice where one qualified vascular surgeon will care for you every step of the way.

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.