About Us

We can fix your vein problems and make your legs look and feel great again.

Here’s What We Can Do for You

You have arrived at the right place.

Let me introduce myself. I am John Happel MD.

My philosophy is – What can we do for you?

If you have unwanted veins, we can help.

I believe that the secret to providing superior vein care for patients with varicose and spider veins is to provide an exceptional outcome provided in a convenient and comfortable setting.

That starts from the time you call us for the first appointment to our last visit. Your choice of a vein doctor comes down to trust.

Trust in my abilities, your research, and my unequalled qualifications in treating veins.


At Happel Laser & Vein Center, we want to help you free your legs from unwanted veins and get you back to a normal life!

One of the best parts about living in Pittsburgh is an abundance of opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.

But when vein disorders occur through no fault of your own, getting out and being active can be difficult at best, and outright painful at worst.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dr Happel

Once we set you on back on the right path toward recovery, you can do anything you want to do without the pain or embarrassment caused by the vein issues in your legs.

That’s why we designed our state-of-the-art facility with one goal in mind: to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for all kinds of vein disorders.

We believe that with our dedication, quality care and cutting-edge technology, no one should have to put an active lifestyle on hold because of vein problems!

My offices are close and convenient.

We are located in the South Hills on Route 19 and easily accessible to all areas of Pittsburgh from Route 79.

We accept nearly all major commercial health insurance plans.

There is no facility fee at our accredited vein center unlike at UPMC facilities and Allegheny Health Network.

That can cut your total cost in half.

offices near you

Our concerns:

  • Your comfort during and after your vein treatment
  • Your quick return to work and caring for your family
  • Not disturbing your daily routine or lifestyle
  • Getting your legs healthy – feeling and looking great again
  • Customizing your care by utilizing only one vein specialist who will follow you every step of the way through your treatment
  • Finding value for your time and effort after researching the very best vein specialist

Who Is Dr. Happel?

  • A board certified vascular surgeon specializing in venous disease who will personally treat you himself.
  • Completion of a vascular surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.
  • Thirty-two years of experience specializing in vascular surgery.
  • Sub specialized exclusively in veins for over twenty years.
  • The longest personal experience of treating veins in Pittsburgh.
  • Certified in vascular Doppler ultrasound and the only vein doctor in Pittsburgh to hold both the RVT and RPVI degrees from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
  • A catheter and laser acclaimed expert adept with the latest minimally invasive techniques to rid you of your unwanted veins.
  • Former Chief of Surgery at UPMC South Side Hospital and Director of the Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory and Wound Care Center.
  • Served as a clinical assistant professor of surgery at UPMC.
  • A leader in the field and a member of numerous national, local, and regional vascular and medical societies.
  • A pioneer in the field of endovenous laser techniques and was the first physician to perform laser surgery for varicose veins in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Director of the only inspected and accredited vein center in Pittsburgh.
Mayo School of Medicine

The Happel Laser & Vein Center was the first vein center to be certified and get the seal of approval from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in the state of Pennsylvania.

The IAC endorses expertise in the field of venous disease certifying that center’s procedures and processes are of the highest standards.

It is the “seal of approval” for quality vein care.


Our Story

Like many private physician practices, the Happel Laser & Vein Center was born out of frustration.

The demands of a vascular surgeon’s life devoted to arterial disease were exhausting and no longer enjoyable.

Our children rarely saw us. It wasn’t what we envisioned.

So, my wife and I thought, when you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.

The answer was clear.

Some call it the Tyndall effect when the sun shines through the clouds.

Others call it “Gods light, Buddha’s rays, or crepuscular rays.

When the conditions are just right, you can also see them at sunrise or sunset as beams and shadows that are cast across the entire sky.

That was our defining moment. Specialization in veins was the answer.

We were scared of leaving the conventional and safe vascular surgery way of life, but we did it anyway.

Specializing in veins meant no more exhausting long artery operations or life and death situations.

But when we stopped treating arterial disease, we quickly realized that patients with varicose and spider veins were much more grateful and more appreciative.

When treating veins instead of arteries, the recovery is much quicker and easier. People are happier.

Happy patients, a happy doctor, and a happy life were the inevitable outcome.

With a doctor trained in all of the “Right Stuff” as Thomas Wolf would say.

Just at the same time as our epiphany, breakthrough technologies in the treatment of varicose veins were just starting.

No longer did we have to take our patients to the hospital or surgery center for the debilitating and painful stripping operation.

We were “all in” at just the right time.

We were the first vein center in Pittsburgh to perform the laser procedure for varicose veins.

When the newest FDA approved foam sclerotherapy was released, we were the first vein center in our area to adapt this cutting-edge technology.

We were the first in Pittsburgh to perform sclerotherapy with the newest FDA proprietary foam called Varithena in 2014.

Up until these latest technologies arrived, the old vein treatments were worse than just enduring the pain, ache, swelling and complications of the varicose veins themselves.

vein doctor

Scars, prolonged painful healing, and days to weeks off of work were routine around the year 2000 and before. 

Nowadays, you can return to work and normal activities right away with little or no pain.

We can fix your vein problems and make your legs look and feel great again.

Using the very latest varicose vein techniques, we can treat you without down time, loss of work and with very little or no discomfort.

Using these revolutionary varicose vein treatment technologies, we can give you what you want.

Cosmetically appealing vein treatments in a convenient and comfortable location without trudging across town.

So, from a small office in McMurray, PA (in the South Hills of Pittsburgh) to an office still in McMurray and a second office in Elm Grove, WV, our focus is what we can do for you.

That’s our duty and that’s the reason that we studied, trained and sacrificed our entire lives.

Our Values and Philosophy


Do the right thing by you - ethical and expert handling of your vein issues


Doctor centric - no assistants, residents or students practicing on you


Focus on delivering results within your schedule and time constraints


Embrace the adventure and adapt to everyone's unique needs and wishes


Never stop learning all the new and proven technology - focus on improvement


Put our egos aside to welcome feedback and encourage new ideas


A personalized approach to your individual vein specific needs

We are here to serve you – it's about being part of the community.


In summary, when choosing a vein doctor, the “big three” are superior qualifications, training and the longest experience specializing in veins in Pittsburgh. 

These are the qualities that set us apart. No other vein doctor or vein center in Pittsburgh comes close.

Qualifications and training are important when treating varicose veins.

Also, vitally important are over three decades of experience from practicing and specializing in the field of venous disease.

Hopefully this information will motivate you to browse the rest of our web site to learn more about how exactly we differentiate ourselves from the rest.

I love being a vascular surgeon and would never consider doing anything else.

Every day is new and exciting thanks to the people I work with and the great satisfaction I get from seeing my patients do well.


I always wanted to be a doctor. Perhaps my father, a respected general surgeon, was my inspiration.

I trained in general surgery and meant to follow in my father’s footsteps. However, after finishing a vascular fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, I knew I’d found my niche.

My father was the one who taught me about importance of the vascular system and how diseases of the circulation affect the entire body.

I perform vein procedures daily, not part- time.

I’ve always applied the “Golden” rule – “do unto others what you would want done to you”- to my life and practice and strive to uphold the virtues and integrity of the Hippocratic Oath.

I don’t recommend surgery for venous disease any more.

In fact, I do everything I can to practice treating veins using minimally invasive procedures.

Many of my patients really do become a part of my family, as I care for them like family for many years and some even a lifetime.

I look forward to welcoming you to my practice.