Seventeenth-century shipping routes drastically improved once navigators began referring to actual maps of waterways instead of the veins on their thighs. Steer clear of veiny skin with today's Groupon: for $249, you get a consultation and two sclerotheraphy spider-vein-treatment sessions at Pittsburgh Vein Center in Monroeville (a $1,150 value). This Groupon includes the cost of compression stockings (a $100 value).
Pittsburgh Vein Center's Dr. Mario Plaza-Ponte is a board-certified phlebologist, a vein specialist who in the last two years has performed more than 1,500 procedures designed to reduce varicose veins and other symptoms of venous reflux disease. To alleviate small spider veins and medium-size reticular veins etched across the legs, Dr. Plaza-Ponte first conducts a clinical evaluation, a Cosmo magazine survey, and a duplex ultrasound. If the doctor deems the patient eligible, he then employs a minimally invasive sclerotherapy treatment. The procedure uses a tiny needle to inject a sclerosant solution that can dissolve the visible vein so it is reabsorbed into the body, like a dodge-ball warrior whose teammate repatriates him from the sidelines with a caught ball.
Depending on vein type and quantity, more than one session may be needed. The procedure is walk in, walk out and normal activities may be resumed fairly quickly, as long as they don't involve prolonged bouts of sitting or standing or any sustained spells of gondola rowing or singing. However, some medically prescribed compression stockings may be needed over the treated areas, which may remain tender and could appear discolored for 1–2 weeks.