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Consultant Vascular Surgeon - Varicose and Thread Vein Expert

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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: www.michaelgaunt.com

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.





Monday, 13 February 2017

Fed up of covering up? The benefits of varicose veins treatment explained.

If varicose veins are causing you pain or affecting your confidence, a removal treatment could be the best solution. Consultant vascular surgeon and leading venous expert, Michael Gaunt, explains the options.

Read more on the BMI Healthcare website...

Sunday, 13 November 2016

New York, New York

World's biggest meeting of Vascular Specialists

"I am looking forward to attending the world's biggest meeting of Vascular Specialists next week: the Veith Meeting takes place in New York from November 15th - 19th 2016. I will be attending in my capacity as a member of the Executive Council of the International Society of Vascular Surgery.
It is an honour to have been invited to chair three of the scientific sessions and to be one of the judges for the best scientific research presented at the meeting and also to present the prizes at the end of the meeting.

I look forward to hearing about the latest research in the field of Vascular Surgery."

International Society for Vascular Surgery logo
Michael Gaunt, vascular surgeon at Veith Symposium, New York 2016

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Tale of Two Trinities


Having spent 12 years as a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, I was very happy to be amongst the supporters of the Hospital at the 250th Anniversary Gala Dinner on Friday 9 September 2016.

Michael and Ann Gaunt, Tatler, Jo Anthony


My wife, Ann, accompanied me and along with current and former colleagues and guests from the wider Cambridge community, we enjoyed fine dining and wonderful entertainment in the splendid setting of Neville's Court at Trinity College.

Over £300,000 was raised, with Lord Jeffrey Archer as the auctioneer for the evening. and I believe it is still possible to pledge support via the ACT (Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust) office at the Hospital.

The second "Trinity" event took place at Trinity Hall on Sunday 11 September 2016, when members of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and Yale University gathered for dinner as part of their annual conference, marking the two centres' collaborative work with lectures and talks taking place over three days.

It also gave me the opportunity to meet up with my good friend from Yale, Professor Alan Dardik, and we were able to discuss the forthcoming Veith International Vascular Symposium, to be held in New York in November.

We are both on the Executive Council and I am sure there will be many exciting vascular surgery developments to discuss during the lectures and meetings.

Tatler and Bystander Logos






Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Mr Michael Gaunt, consultant vascular surgeon, talks about the latest treatments for varicose veins and cosmetic ‘spider’ veins

What function do our veins have?

Veins are the vascular structures which carry blood back towards the heart whilst arteries carry blood away from the heart.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose Veins
Unattractively deep blue or dark purple, raised, lumpy or twisted in appearance, varicose veins are a common problem affecting at least 20% of the adult population in the UK.
Varicose veins occur when small valves inside the veins stop functioning correctly. Rather than blood flowing effortlessly back towards the heart, the blood stagnates within the veins, causing aching, tiredness and discomfort. People complain of ‘heavy, tired legs and night leg cramps’ which may have an adverse impact on their daily lives.

Varicose vein symptoms


  • 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

How do they affect us?

At first, problematic veins may not be visible but symptoms can occur. Sometimes patches of blue thread veins may be the earliest signs of an underlying problem. Eventually, the abnormal veins may become swollen, enlarged and varicose. Varicose veins can be unsightly, painful and embarrassing.

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.

Are varicose veins dangerous?

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

Do we need invasive surgery to get rid of varicose veins?

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 4,000 patients using the minimally invasive Endovenous Laser and ClariVein techniques, I am one of the most experienced surgeons in the UK. Both techniques are associated with considerably less pain, bruising and scarring than traditional surgery such as stripping techniques.

Do you actually perform the treatment?

When you book an appointment with me you receive professional, personal treatment from your first consultation to your last. Gaining one to one time with a highly experienced surgeon provides a professional, tailored treatment plan executed with care and skill to meet a patient’s personal needs.

“You can rest assured I aim to combine the highest surgical and academic standards within a kind and relaxed environment, to achieve the best clinical and cosmetic results possible.”

I’m proud to say I am a nationally recognised vascular surgeon with over 28 years’ clinical experience, including 12 years as a consultant surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and in private practice in Cambridge, London, Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.

Do you treat many sports patients?

Yes, I do see a lot of sports patients, although initially they may not realise that varicose veins can affect their sporting performance. Veins are responsible for removing the waste products of muscle metabolism, such as lactic acid, out of the legs. When veins are not working properly, waste products are not cleared efficiently, impairing muscle function. Treating varicose veins immediately improves the venous function of the leg, advancing sporting performance and reducing leg fatigue. As a runner myself I know how important it is to keep active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supporting good blood flow.

Read case studies >


Before and after varicose vein treatment

What causes the ‘spider’ veins we get on our faces?

The main problem is having a susceptible skin-type that copes less well with the wear and tear of everyday life. An outdoor life can exacerbate the problem, as can various skin conditions. Spider veins sadly increase over time and early treatment is advisable. Patients with prominent veins on the nose may be unfairly labelled as “drinkers” and some patients report that this misconception can adversely affect various areas of their life, including work and promotion.

How can you get rid of facial ‘spider veins’

A technique called VeinWave is predominantly used for facial veins and just a few sessions can be transformative. The minimally invasive procedure takes minutes to perform and you will see results almost immediately. Although regarded as a cosmetic problem, patients are always reassured to be treated by an experienced surgeon.

Is there any way to prevent varicose veins?

Unfortunately you can’t do anything to prevent them if you are susceptible. Symptoms can be avoided by not standing still for long periods and by wearing support stockings. The best way to avoid complications from veins is to treat them early and not ignore them.

Read case studies >

Book a consultation with Mr Michael Gaunt or make further enquiries: 01223 305858.

Mr Michael Gaunt, Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Feeling Good, Looking Good. Happy, healthy legs with Michael Gaunt

Don't neglect your legs! Consultant vascular surgeon Michael Gaunt is no stranger to treating Varicose and Thread Veins that impact on active lifestyles and sporting performance.

There’s no doubt feeling good and looking good certainly go hand in hand. Whether you are keen to maintain intensive aerobic sports or enjoy low impact exercise, such as swimming and yoga, Michael Gaunt can help improve your vascular health and well-being. Exercise is of primary importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle and has beneficial effects on varicose veins supporting good blood flow.


Michael Gaunt specialises in the treatment of varicose, thread and facial spider veins and is one of the most experienced and respected surgeons in the UK. He performs personal and minimally invasive treatment of veins using endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), VNUS Closure and ClariVein. He also performs ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy and VeinWave techniques.

“Many of my sporting patients complain of heavy and tired legs. They’ve often noticed a gradual decline in their performance, taking longer to recover after training”

Varicose veins are not commonly thought of as a condition that can affect sporting performance but they can. Veins are responsible for removing the waste products of muscle metabolism, such as lactic acid, out of the legs. Varicose veins are veins that are not working properly and also impair the function of the normal veins in the legs.

Treating varicose veins immediately improves the venous function of the leg, advancing the clearance of toxic waste products and naturally helps to improve activity.

“I have successfully performed over 4000 minimally invasive techniques with amazing results. People are back on their feet immediately”


Stay Active. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is something we all strive to do yet many of us neglect our varicose veins. The condition can be painful and if untreated can lead to leg swelling, pigmentation of the skin of the lower leg and ulcers. Unsightly varicose veins may affect your confidence and many patients complain of having to cover up during the summer months.

The truth is, even athletes and active people can have varicose and spider veins. There are many variations of varicose veins and it’s always worth getting a personal consultation to access what your treatment options are. Proper assessment is necessary prior to treatment to exclude any underlying conditions.

“Recent advances mean that the underlying causes of varicose and spider veins may be easily identified and the correct personalised treatment plan offered”

“I was surprised at how easy it was to get my varicose veins treated. I made a local appointment and had a personal consultation followed by successful treatment with Michael Gaunt”

Book a mini consultation for just £95.

You will receive Michael Gaunt’s expert opinion and a tailored treatment plan; including information on treatment options available.

Call now to book your no-obligation mini consultation, for just £95, with Michael Gaunt at Harley Street London, BMI Bury St. Edmunds, Spire Norwich, Nuffield Health Cambridge or Spire Lea Cambridge. 01223 305858.