Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous laser therapy eliminates varicose veins from the inside out. It protects the skin.

Laser Treatment of Varicose Veins

Laser therapy for varicose veins is sometimes called EVLT or EVLA.

Those letters stand for endovenous laser therapy or endovenous laser ablation.

Laser for varicose vein treatment is also is known under other proprietary names such as ELVes and VeinSeal depending on which company makes the laser.

Laser is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of painful and unsightly varicose veins.

Laser energy is applied to the inside of the vein through a catheter that is inserted inside of the targeted vein.

It is performed under ultrasound guidance. A small laser fiber in inserted into the targeted vein.

The laser fiber delivers laser energy in the form of heat. The heat kills the vein.

Immediately, the vein is sealed.

It later collapses and is absorbed by your body.

This allows the blood to be rerouted your other healthy veins. Your circulation is improved.

The laser procedure takes less than thirty minutes in most cases with minimal or no discomfort.

Laser procedures are performed in the comfort of our facility.

Treatment of varicose vein with EndoVenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)


Compared to traditional vein surgery:


There are no scars or incisions.


There is no surgery.


General anesthesia is not necessary.


It is performed in the comfort of our accredited vein center.


Recovery time is quick and return to work and normal activities is quick.


It has a significantly lower risk of complications compared to stripping.


Insurance covers the procedure in most cases.


There is an immediate improvement of symptoms and appearance.


The vein can be treated with the laser in less than an hour.


The procedure is done in the comfort of our accredited office facility.

The Laser Revolution in Treating Varicose Veins

Laser was FDA approved for the treatment of varicose veins in 2002. Treatment of leg vein disorders has changed dramatically in the subsequent years.

The two most significant advances in the treatment of varicose veins are heat related.

Of all of the minimally invasive procedures, perhaps the most important that changed the treatment paradigm were laser and radio frequency.

They completely replaced conventional “stripping” and the need for surgery, hospitalization, and large incisions.

Laser and radiofrequency have transformed the treatment of varicose veins from inpatient to outpatient facilities.

Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous means inside the vein.

Endovenous laser is an elegant, minimally invasive technique performed under local anesthesia. It is always done under ultrasound guidance and usually in an outpatient setting.

Endovenous laser involves a tiny mini incision usually made with a needle. This puncture is just large enough to allow the introduction of a sterile guide wire and laser fiber.

Laser heat energy is delivered directly inside the vein to close the saphenous vein completely. The saphenous vein is sometimes thought of as the root of the problem.

Endovenous laser therapy eliminates varicose veins from the inside out. It protects the skin.

The clinical results are impressive and almost immediate.

Laser treatments often take less than 40 minutes.

Surprisingly, the laser is usually only fired for a total of two to four minutes. This results in the relief of symptoms and the improved appearance of your legs.

Follow up reports with the endovenous laser procedure to treat varicose veins are extremely remarkable and have yielded very impressive long-term results.

Dr. Happel is a pioneer in the laser field.

He was the very first surgeon in the Pittsburgh area to perform the endovenous laser therapy for the treatment of varicose veins.

Does Insurance Cover Laser for Varicose Veins?

Endovenous means inside the vein.

Most insurance companies require that you try conservative medical management before any definitive treatment is considered.

This requirement for a conservative medical trial of compression support stockings is not supported by vein specialists or the scientific literature.

The best medical evidence and consensus papers written by the leading vein experts and the scientific vein literature do not support trying conservative medical management before varicose vein treatments.

Most insurance companies refuse to pay for treatment of your varicose veins unless you have tried compression support stockings for over three months.

Because a doctor’s office or their billing department may inform you that your procedure is a covered service does not imply that you will not get a bill.

Some people mistakenly believe that because the laser procedure is preapproved by their insurance that it is totally covered that they will owe nothing after their procedure.

Usually that is not true.

Ask before your laser procedure is done what your responsibility will be after your insurance company pays their part.

Be familiar with what your deductible and co insurance is so there are no unpleasant surprises after your procedure.

Remember, high deductible health insurance plans are on the rise. Denial letters and restrictions in coverage is on the rise.

Understand what is covered and what is not covered to prevent confusion and anger after your procedure.

Make sure there is no expensive facility fee when you have your laser procedure done.

That could double the total cost.

Also check and make sure that the doctor is in network and participates with your insurance plan.

Dr. Happel has the highest credentials and qualifications of any vein doctor in Pittsburgh.

We also utilize radiofrequency closure for the treatment of saphenous veins.

The laser and radiofrequency options help us fine tune and individualize your care to provide the best treatment for each patient.

Choose your vein doctor carefully.


The Happel Laser and Vein Center accepts the following insurance plans:


Health America
Health Assurance
Health Plan of Upper Ohio Valley
Medical Mutual
Mon-Valley Health Pla

United Health Care
Western Pennsylvania Electric (WPEE)
All BC/BS plans