Category Archives: Case Studies

David Hall

“I have just successfully completed the John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle ride – 1060 miles in 9 days – absolutely unthinkable prior to the popliteal entrapment syndrome op! So – once again – many, many thanks!!”

In February 2010 David Hall was treated by Mr Gaunt to correct popliteal entrapment syndrome, he has since gone on to complete one of the most respected & challenging cycle rides, John O’Groats to Land’s End, 1060 miles in just 9 days.

Emma Kaye

“I think the thing that worried me was that I thought I would be ‘out of action’ for several weeks – but this was not the case and the very next day I was walking my dogs a good 40 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. I also had no pain and never needed to take a pain killer.”

Ian, 34

“Ian rowed for the US team and Cambridge, when he developed varicose veins.”

Varicose veins run in my family. I’ve got two uncles who had the surgery at relatively early ages. But I assumed that varicose veins came from sitting around or that older people or pregnant women got them.

Then about eight years ago, I noticed some stinging on the inside of one of my ankles and what looked like a permanent bruise.

I was told I had varicose veins and advised to wear compression socks during the day. But the stinging got progressively worse and by the end of the day, my ankles would be throbbing – even after wearing the compression socks.

About six months ago, I decided I had to get something done. I went to my GP who referred me to Michael Gaunt.

He did a scan and explained that he’d use VNUS Closure on the larger veins and avulse the smaller veins on my calves and ankles. I had surgery under general anaesthetic and it was really straightforward.

I was up and walking within a couple of hours and on my first day home, I walked for about a mile.

The bruising was fairly extensive, but not worrisome and settled down pretty quickly, as did the pain. The time from surgery to feeling comfortable walking was less than a week.

The impressive thing is that the scarring is minimal. When I tell people I’ve had surgery in the last three months, they are like “where are the scars?” There are just these tiny pin pricks.

But the biggest difference for me is going from living with chronic pain to being without it – that was huge. I kinda kick myself that I didn’t have surgery sooner.

Alison Cronk

“It has been the best money I have ever spent.”

I suffered deep vein thrombosis in my early 20s which damaged the valves of my left leg. While not medically ill, I couldn’t stand for prolonged periods and undertaking sport of any kind was difficult and uncomfortable. I was faced with the prospect of spending the rest of my adult life in surgical stockings.

I did not have unsightly veins and did not qualify under the NHS guidelines for treatment for any medical reasons resulting from my damaged valves.

I had always been under the impression that laser treatment was only for cosmetic reasons – to treat unsightly varicose veins. It did not occur to me, nor was it pointed out, that laser surgery might well work for me.

It was some 18 years after my DVT that a GP suggested laser treatment might help after he attended a lecture from Michael Gaunt.

I had the treatment two years ago and haven’t looked back since. It has been the best money I have ever spent.

When I had the treatment done privately at the Spire, I had not anticipated the far-reaching effects it would have on my lifestyle.

Having barely been able to run for a bus pre-operation, I took up running shortly afterwards. My first challenge was small – to enter the Chariots of Fire race in Cambridge, which is a 1.7 mile relay. I completed that nine months after surgery. In the following year, I ran three separate 10k races and the Chariots of Fire race again.

This year, my challenge is to complete my first half marathon in November – something I would have laughed at if anyone had suggested this before my treatment.

Mr Gaunt was extremely professional, yet down to earth. He described the procedure in layman’s terms, likening my veins to pouring wine from a bottle, I recall.

The operation itself was done under local anaesthetic but was relatively painless. The relaxed atmosphere and banter between the anaesthetist and Mr Gaunt put me at ease and made the operation fly by..

I would highly recommend anyone suffering problems – be they cosmetic or physical – as a result of damaged veins to talk through the options with Mr Gaunt. The improvement to my health and fitness has been phenomenal and is difficult to put into words. My only regret is not having known about or having had the operation sooner.

Congratulations to Alison who completed the London Marathon in 2011.

Karol Cooper

“A few weeks later it was impossible to tell I had ever had varicose veins”

“I first noticed the appearance of varicose veins about ten years ago and sought the advice of a surgeon then. The most usual treatment at the time was to have the veins ‘stripped’. This took place under general anaesthetic and had quite a lengthy recovery period as I recall. Having been lucky enough never to have been in hospital before or had any type of medical procedure I baulked at the idea of this operation and as I was experiencing no pain associated with the veins I decided not to go ahead.

However over the next ten years the appearance of the veins worsened, in particular one that ran over my left knee and I became quite self-conscious about my legs. In addition I was also developing ‘spider veins’ on both legs. My husband and I spend the summer months in Spain where we enjoy sailing and I like to play golf, but I was feeling less comfortable wearing the skirts and shorts associated with these pastimes. I vowed to do something about it.

I Googled the condition and read about laser treatment. Then early this year quite by chance I read an article about Michael Gaunt in Suffolk Business magazine and realised that with the treatment available on my doorstep there was nothing to stop me.

I booked a consultation as soon as possible and Mr Gaunt explained to me and my husband exactly what the various procedures involve, how quickly you can be up and running again along with the duration of the operation and exactly what to expect. Which for me, as a first time patient, was very reassuring.

I chose to have laser treatment which was carried out under local anaesthetic and I could have the procedure to both legs at the same time. There was very little discomfort during the operation and Mr Gaunt and his great team at BMI in Bury St Edmunds made the hour or so pass very quickly with their (very bad) joke telling. I had gone to the hospital first thing that morning and was back home by mid-afternoon. I wore compression bandages for a couple of days and then full length surgical socks for two weeks.

The improvement in appearance was immediate with just a little bruising and a few weeks later it was impossible to tell I had ever had varicose veins. Last month I went back to see Mr Gaunt to have injections to get rid of the ‘spider veins’. These too have completely faded and for the first time in years I have a ‘near perfect’ set of pins!! I have lived in short skirts and shorts all this summer. In fact I am wearing shorts as I write this.

I highly recommend Mr Gaunt and the treatments he provides, it has been a life changing experience for me, one of the best things I’ve done in years.”

Thomas Reed

“I have had problems with my veins for about 25 years. I just always thought I would get it done at some stage without ever seeing anyone about it.

As the years went on, it was not until I was 56 when I thought it was about time I got something done about it.

I have always been a keen cyclist. It was always just a leisure pursuit but I would spend 45 minutes on a turbo trainer and bike 20 miles on Saturday and then another 25 on a Sunday, every single weekend. I then found a 50 to 60 mile route around Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. I always loved cycling as a great way to get fit, but over the last few years I noticed I was experiencing a burning pain in my legs when climbing hills.

It got to a stage where I was putting my body under so much strain that by the time I got to the top of the hill, I wouldn’t be able to peddle anymore at all. But it wasn’t just in my free time. I was a carpenter and would notice pains in my legs, especially in the afternoon.

I sought some medical advice and booked an appointment with Michael Gaunt. He talked me through my various options and we agreed that I needed bilateral Endovenous Laser surgery to treat my varicose veins.

But just four weeks after the operation, I was feeling so much better that I got back on my bike again. In fact, my average mileage is increasing again all the time.

The surgery was absolutely fine and everyone was fantastic, not just Michael but everyone at the Spire. I barely had any pain at all after the operation.

I can now climb hills on my bike much better and, thankfully, pedal off stronger once I reach the top.

Thinking about it, I should have done something about my varicose veins earlier. My advice to anyone would be to get help early and not just leave it to another day.”

Deborah Greenland, 48 years old

“I had two quite big varicose veins, which would get painful in hot weather and in the evenings. When I was about 24, I had one injected but I was left with one below my knee, which ran horizontally across the front of my right leg. After having three children, it got more swollen and painful and looked quite tortuous. But it was really only in the last two years that I thought that I would like to get rid of it.

I saw Michael Gaunt a couple of times and on the initial visit, he used ultrasound to trace the vein to see how much work he needed to do.

The operation took about an hour. Mr Gaunt passed a laser fibre along the faulty vein and then laser energy was used to close off the vein. There was no pain afterwards and no stitches. I wore compression bandages for two days, then support stockings for two weeks and walked twice a day for a good half an hour to keep the blood circulation moving.

I waited six weeks to have a check-up with Mr Gaunt before I did anything else more energetic than walking. Now I am back running, playing tennis and cycling – it’s fantastic.

And with no bulging veins, I’m looking forward to wearing summer dresses.”

Mary Gower, 59 years old

“I have had varicose veins since my twenties, but about 18 years ago they took a turn for the worse.

I developed varicose eczema. It began as a small red patch and just kept on growing. About 15 years ago, I had the varicose vein stripped but it kept on growing.

Eight years ago, I went back to my doctor but all he could do was advise me that I wear thick compression stockings.

They were really gross and my initial reaction was I can’t possibly wear those every day. I wore them for a couple of years, but they were making me really unhappy – they made my shoes tight and cut off blood to other places! So I stopped wearing them, unless I was wearing trousers.

Then about five years ago, I developed varicose ulcers. They were very, very painful and took months to clear up. I’ve had two in the last four years and that’s what prompted me to try and do something else about it.

A chap at work told me he’d had laser treatment on his leg so I looked it up on the internet and Michael Gaunt’s name came up.

I went to see him and he said he could help. I had the operation under general anaesthetic at about 6pm. By 9pm, I was up and eating sandwiches.

The next morning I went out for my first mile walk – I was thrilled with it all. After the first week, I had barely any pain.

After two months, I noticed the red patch was going. And where it had started to come through on the other side of my leg, it had actually gone. I was surprised by this because the reason for having the work done was to treat the ulcer not the actual appearance.

I think there is a tendency to think its older, bed-ridden people who get varicose ulcers. But I’m quite active. I go to exercise classes and I still got them.”