Mr Michael Gaunt Logo
Consultant Vascular Surgeon - Varicose and Thread Vein Expert


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Michael explains why he performs his venous treatments within a hospital setting.

There is an increasing trend for venous treatments to be performed in small stand-alone doctor-owned clinics providing treatments under local anaesthetic only.

Although I am a great fan of local anaesthetic techniques - and indeed our pioneering use of short-acting nerve blocks provides excellent intraoperative and postoperative anaesthesia and analgesia - local anaesthesia is not appropriate for all clinical situations.

With extensive bilateral varicose veins, infiltrating large amounts of local anaesthesia can itself be painful.

Other patients may have an anxious disposition or may have had a previous bad experience with local anaesthetic. In these cases, it is useful to be able to offer a general anaesthetic option and this can only be administered safely within a hospital setting, with all the safety and reassurance of full back-up facilities and specialist colleagues available.

" As always, patient safety is paramount. In 2017 my overall rating from BUPA patients was ‘excellent’ – the top rating."

Appointment bookings and practice hours>

Michael Gaunt explains why he has decided not to use glue to treat varicose veins.

At the end of 2017 I attended The Veith Symposium in New York – the largest meeting of vascular surgeons in the world.

I attended this in my role as Treasurer and UK Representative on the executive committee of the International Society for Vascular Surgery but it also enabled me to attend a large number of presentations regarding the latest techniques for treating venous disorders.

One of the most exciting new techniques has been the use of surgical glue (a specialist form of superglue) to seal off varicose veins. This has been investigated for a number of years now and initial results were very encouraging, but longer-term complications are now starting to be reported.

In my view, one of the main disadvantages of the technique is that unlike existing techniques such as laser, VNUS and ClariVein, the glue technique leaves a line of glue in the subcutaneous tissues for the rest of the patient’s life.

In New York there were some reports of this glue causing chronic inflammation and in one case having to be surgically removed.

As doctors have found treating other conditions, leaving foreign material within a patient’s body can result in problems years later, so I have decided that I will need to see longer-term follow-up results before I recommend this technique to my patients.

At present, the results I achieve from treating varicose veins with the endovenous laser and Clarivein techniques are truly excellent, with minimal pain and excellent functional and cosmetic results and the long-term follow-up results are very good and these techniques represent the gold standard methods at the moment.

Practice hours and contact details>

Patient satisfaction award for Michael from BUPA UK

It was very gratifying to receive notification from the UK’s largest private medical insurer BUPA that I had won an award for excellent patient satisfaction.

 All BUPA patients provide feedback and a rating of the treatment they have received from their consultant.

In 2017 my overall rating from BUPA patients was ‘excellent’ – the top rating. 

Totally independent feedback such as this is very useful for consultants as it provides an accurate measure of the quality of care they provide.

"I always strive to provide the highest standard of care to every patient and it is very encouraging to be informed that these efforts are appreciated by such a large number of patients."

Read more about my practice hours and treatments available at BUPA> 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Confused about specialist vein treatments?

Don’t be mystified: leading consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt offers an insight into modern methods

“Don’t shy away from treatment, help is on hand to find a procedure that is tailored to you and your lifestyle”

There’s a wide choice of treatments and procedures available to combat varicose veins and thread veins and it can be a little overwhelming. Finding the perfect treatment plan, that’s specifically tailored for you, is crucial to achieving the results you want. I recommend you consult a specialist, like myself, and talk to your GP to find the best solution for you.

Treatment Checklist

  • See your GP or self-refer, depending on your preference - be referred to an experienced vascular surgeon
  • Book a mini-consultation – if you just want to explore your options
  • Book a full consultation and Duplex scan for an individual treatment plan, tailored for you so that you can find the best solution for you and your lifestyle
  • Book your personalised treatment for a time convenient to you
  • Minimal discomfort – enjoy the latest minimally invasive treatment, performed by your vascular surgeon

All modern treatments work by breaking down the varicose vein. The closed vein is no longer functional, and blood is redirected to the healthy veins. No two peoples’ varicose veins are the same and the right procedure for one person may not be successful for someone else. That’s why I perform a full assessment with an ultrasound scan to identify the problematic veins and recommend the best procedure and treatment plan.

“The latest minimally invasive treatments can be performed under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure, with minimal post-operative discomfort and less impact on your lifestyle.”

ClariVein™ A tiny rotating wire is inserted inside the varicose vein whilst a sclerosant solution is injected to break down and seal the vein. This technique is the least invasive, requiring the smallest amount of local anaesthetic. The procedure takes around 30 minutes per leg.

Endovenous Laser A laser fibre is administered inside the vein. The laser heat penetrates the vein wall and as it is withdrawn up the leg the vein is destroyed. The procedure takes around 30 minutes per leg under local anaesthetic.
VNUS closure technique A special catheter is positioned inside the varicose vein. The catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall. As the catheter is withdrawn, the vein wall is heated causing the vein to close. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic.

Foam Sclerotherapy
A solution is injected into the veins and this causes them to collapse and fibrose. Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy can treat obvious varicose veins as well as incompetent long and short saphenous veins causing underlying problems. The procedure is performed in the Outpatient Clinic.

Book a mini consultation for just £95 and talk directly to Mr Michael Gaunt, Consultant Vascular Surgeon.

For more information visit:
Spire Norwich Hospital 01603 255574
BMI Bury St Edmunds Hospital 01223 305858
Harley Street, London 01223 305858
Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital 01223 266990
Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital 01223 370922
Private Secretaries: 01223 305858

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Embarrassed by red thread veins? Do you long for clear unblemished skin?

Leading consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt says modern treatment methods offer a quick and effective solution.

Most of us want to hold back the signs of ageing and reduce skin blemishes. Thread veins or spider veins are a familiar problem for men and women. The tiny red or purple broken veins are most commonly found on the face, around the cheeks and nose, but also appear on ankles and legs. They initially emerge as one or two tiny fine lines but develop a web like pattern, that enlarges across the skin; hence the term spider vein.

What causes thread veins?

The main problem is having a susceptible skin-type that copes less well with the wear and tear of everyday life. An outdoor life and sun- exposure can exacerbate the problem, as can various skin conditions. Spider veins sadly increase over time and early treatment is advisable.

“Modern treatments are minimally invasive and take minutes to perform as a walk in -walk out procedure.” 
“Patients should make informed choices when it comes to something as important as their health and wellbeing.”

How can you get rid of them?

A technique called VeinWave is predominantly used for facial thread veins and just a few sessions can be transformative. The minimally invasive procedure takes minutes to perform and you will see results almost immediately.

I have broken veins on my legs, they seem to be getting worse can you help?
Broken veins appearing on the legs are often the first sign of an underlying varicose vein problem which may not be visible. A thorough venous assessment is necessary before initiating any local treatment for leg thread veins as treatment will not be successful unless the underlying problem has been corrected first. A safe and effective treatment, injection microsclerotherapy is commonly used to decrease the visibility of unsightly thread veins most commonly found on the legs.

Top 5 Tips for seeking thread vein treatment

  • Choose an expert - Look for experienced vascular surgeon that has a long-standing reputation for delivering the highest quality of service
  • Tailored treatment– Ask for an individual venous assessment to ensure successful treatment
  • Safe cosmetic procedure - Seek well known modern treatments that conform to Medical regulations
  • Ask for advice – Take time to talk to your consultant to find the best solution for you
  • Trustworthy clinical care– Find a clinic that offers the highest standards of hygiene and clinical care

For more information visit:

Spire Norwich Hospital 01603 255574
BMI Bury St Edmunds Hospital 01223 305858
Harley Street, London 01223 305858
Spire Lea Cambridge 01223 266990
Nuffield Health Cambridge: 01223 370922
Private Secretaries: 01223 305858

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Love your legs – step out this spring

One in four of the population suffer with varicose veins. Leading consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt discusses how they can affect your long-term health and wellbeing.

For me this month marks the start of becoming more active as the evenings become lighter. Maybe there’s not quite the promise of Spring in the air but I’m positively ready to get more active and improve my wellbeing.

We all want to look good and how we care for our vascular health can play a major role in helping us achieve this. You may not initially associate varicose veins with your general health and wellbeing but when you consider that one person in four is affected in some way by varicose veins, it’s clear that simple procedures can make a big difference to a patient’s lifestyle.

Don’t ignore symptoms

Many of us choose to ignore the onset of symptoms, preferring to ‘cover-up and forget’ during the winter months. Sometimes the symptoms develop very slowly over years and you may be unaware that the changes in your legs are due to varicose veins, especially as they may not be particularly prominent or visible in some people.

Symptoms of varicose veins can include:

  • Aching, tired or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Painful throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Restless legs, especially at night
  • Persistent leg itching
  • Bleeding from varicose veins
  • Ulceration
  • Skin discolouration around the ankles

Simple self help

You may find mild symptoms are helped by raising your legs, by wearing support stockings or regular movement. A healthy lifestyle, eating well and finding ways to stay active is important and even more so if you have varicose veins, as weight gain can make symptoms seem worse.
Simple conservative measures such as these may offer some relief to symptoms but will not treat the underlying cause - the problematic varicose veins.

Getting active and improving circulation
You don’t have to run a marathon to improve your circulation, little changes like taking regular breaks if sitting at a desk all day, will help, and may temporarily reduce varicose vein symptoms. Step counters and fitness trackers that record the number of steps you make in a day are perfect for maintaining and highlighting your daily activity helping you boost your circulation.
Poor circulation occurs when the blood doesn’t flow freely through the body. Blood flow naturally improves with the onset of activity, it needn’t be high impact but it does need to be consistent and frequent.

Varicose veins impair circulation, that’s why they often appear raised or bobbly. Instead of all the blood from the legs returning to the heart, a proportion of blood refluxes back down the superficial veins impairing the venous circulation of the leg and giving rise to the symptoms of aching, swelling and night cramps.

Long term Complications

The best way to avoid complications from veins is to treat them early and not ignore them. In the developing stages, varicose veins and thread veins may be primarily a cosmetic problem. However, if ignored, the condition can deteriorate and a variety of complications can occur such as leg swelling, pigmentation of the skin around the ankles and leg ulcers.

Circulation is key to a healthy lifestyle. If the venous circulation is impaired for a long time the delivery of oxygen to the skin around the leg and ankle is decreased and toxins accumulate. This can develop increased venous pressure resulting in venous ulcers.

Occasionally, veins can burst causing bleeding, or the blood within the veins can clot leading to the painful condition of phlebitis or even deep vein thrombosis. People who use air travel for work or holidays may be at increased risk, particularly if those flights are long haul.

Varicose Vein Complications

  • Leg and ankle swelling
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Pigmentation of the skin
  • Venous ulcers
  • Bleeding
  • Phlebitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis

What are the benefits of varicose vein treatment?

You’ll feel more positive about your legs, the unsightly raised, bobbly varicose veins will be removed, alleviating your symptoms. Your circulation will improve and it should also help prevent further complications that varicose veins may cause.

New Treatments

You’ll be glad to hear that modern treatments are minimally invasive and may be performed under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure. Having treated over 5,000 patients using the minimally invasive Endovenous Laser and ClariVein techniques, I am one of the most experienced surgeons in the UK. Also available is VeinWave treatment for unsightly facial thread veins and spider veins.

Happy, healthy legs with Michael Gaunt
For more information on varicose veins and treatments visit:

Spire Norwich Hospital 01603 255574
BMI Bury St Edmunds Hospital 01223 305858
Harley Street, London 01223 305858
Spire Lea Cambridge 01223 266990
Nuffield Health Cambridge: 01223 370922
Private Secretaries: 01223 305858

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Ashamed to show your legs? There is a way out

One in four people suffers varicose veins which make them want to cover their legs at all times. Leading consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt says you can walk with confidence again.

Click here to view the full article.