The 5 Top Questions People Ask About Varicose Veins

The 5 Top Questions People Ask About Varicose Veins

#1 What Causes Varicose Veins?

Although there are many things that contribute to – only a few things have been proven to cause varicose veins.

What people really want to know when they ask this question is – do their occupation or activities contribute to the cause of their varicose veins?

The simple answer is no.

Varicose veins are genetic and inherited.

The next thing a few people say at this point is, “Wait a minute, my mother or father doesn’t have varicose veins.”

Varicose veins genetics can skip a generation.

Other people have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or aunts who have unwanted veins.

Some of these relatives have had their veins treated in the past.

The bottom line is there is absolutely no scientific evidence that your occupation, standing for long periods of time, walking on concrete or hard surfaces, or heavy lifting has anything to do with causing varicose veins.

Think about it for a minute.

There are millions of people whose occupations involve long periods standing including bartenders, flight attendants, teachers, restaurant servers, surgeons, and blackjack dealers who don’t have a varicose or spider vein at all.

Although pregnancy and obesity can contribute to the exacerbation of varicose veins, those factors alone don’t cause them either.

There are millions of people who are overweight and don’t have varicose veins.

Millions of women have had multiple pregnancies and do not have varicose or spider veins.

“Varicose veins are the result of an improper selection of grandparents.”

The father of modern medicine, William Osler quotes (Canadian Physician, 1849-1919)

#2 Aren’t Varicose Veins Just Cosmetic? 

The thing that confuses people is that varicose veins are not always painful.

Especially in the early stages, they may just be ugly or unsightly.

When they inevitably enlarge, the pressure within them increases.

It’s the pressure within the enlarged veins that causes the discomfort, heaviness, aching, tiredness, and swelling of the legs.

Insurance companies consider them as cosmetic at this stage.

However, because they inevitably enlarge and cause symptoms and complications, varicose veins are not benign.

As a vascular surgeon who specializes in treating veins, I can tell you that is much easier and less complicated to treat them before they become advanced and more complicated.

In their later stages, more procedures are required which are more difficult to perform successfully.

#3 There Are So Many Vein Centers – Where Do You Go?

To be honest, most people just pick the closest and most convenient vein center.

That approach can cause problems because the vein field is different from other fields in medicine.

It’s different because there is no formal training for treating varicose veins alone or venous disease alone.

The only specialty that fulfills all of the the criteria for treating varicose veins is vascular surgery.

However, doctors from all different specialties have gravitated into the field for various reasons.

Don’t be bamboozled, hoodwinked, or conned by generic looking vein web sites for these self-proclaimed vein experts that make your eyes glaze over in their “sameness”.

Learn more about the field of Phlebology in this article entitled, “Phlebology Training – Preceptorships, Videos, and Weekend Courses Aren’t Enough.”

Just like smart phones (and around the same time), the field of treating varicose veins exploded.

Minimally invasive procedures like laser replaced the stripping operation.

The reason that trying to find a trained vein doctor is is confusing is because:

  • If have a heart problem, you see your cardiologist.
  • If you have any back problem, you see a neurosurgeon.
  • If you have an eye problem, you see an ophthalmologist (pun intended).

It’s not so simple when you have varicose veins because the field of treating varicose veins has become overcrowded from doctors of all specialties who have given up their chosen field of training.

Many doctors who treat veins have switched to treating veins with no venous training at all.

There’s no oversight because it’s all done in the office setting.

Anything goes.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Here are the ideal qualifications of a vein doctor in an easy-to-read article.

#4 What About Natural Treatments for Varicose Veins? 

Let me make it simple.

For the treatment of varicose veins:

  1. Supplements don’t help.
  2. Don’t waste your money.
  3. Natural treatments are not effective.

If you don’t believe me, try them.

Then go to a qualified vein specialist to take care of your vein problem.

The indisputable fact is that these home remedies are worthless.

That doesn’t stop avaricious marketing people from flooding the market with supplements and promises of a fast and easy fix.

As a matter of fact, just try typing ” fast and easy fix for varicose veins” in a search engine and see what comes up.

That’s right.

Supplements and home remedies.

The analogy in the medical field of this charlatanism (yes, that is that a word) is the flood of untrained physicians with questionable backgrounds flooding the market with an “easy and virtually painless” medical fix for varicose veins.

This article will help you how to avoid bad vein centers by choosing the best vein specialist in town.

It will keep you away from varicose vein centers of ill repute so you can avoid unnecessary testing, unnecessary procedures, and crappy results.

#5 Are Modern Varicose Vein Treatments Really Fast and Easy? 


In the right hands, they are quick and very effective.

What is the “latest and greatest” varicose vein treatment?

Medical grade glue insurance coverage started in some areas as of January 2018.

Is varicose vein glue (Venaseal) good or bad?

Modern minimally invasive techniques are pretty fast and often take less than an hour.

However, if you combine procedures (like laser and phlebectomy) and there are an excessive number of veins to be treated, it can take longer.

Often in those cases the procedures have to be staged.

Fast and easy are relative terms.

Compared to the older surgical methods, today’s varicose vein procedures are faster and easier to tolerate.

It all depends how extensive and how complicated your varicose veins are to start with.

However, many people can get rid of their varicose veins very quickly, often in an hour.

Sometimes more than one treatment is needed depending on the severity of the condition.

One last thing.

Varicose vein disease is incurable.

Because it is genetic, new veins can occur at the rate of 3-4% per year after your treatment.

Periodic touch up procedures or evaluations may be eventually needed.


Now that you know what causes varicose veins, you can plan your treatment.

In summary, supplements, and home remedies are a waste of time.

Your only questions at this point are which vein center and which accepted medical treatment should you consider.

With Google, YELP, Facebook, YouTube and the internet at our fingertips, it only takes a few minutes to sift through the BS marketing to learn the truth.

Warning: Varicose veins may not be covered by insurance soon.

Insurance companies are already limiting coverage significantly.

Tired of hiding your legs?

Are you finally ready to deal with your ugly varicose veins that will only cause more problems down the road?

So, what are you waiting for?

Why put it off any longer?

Call us today 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.