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Quebec doctor warns of 'liberation treatment' risks

Posted Nov 10 2010 12:00am

Updated: Wed Nov. 10 2010 10:04:08 AMCTV.ca News Staff
The president of the Quebec Association of Radiologists says he agrees with a warning issued by Quebec doctors to multiple sclerosis patients urging them not to seek the "liberation" treatment at clinics outside Canada.
Dr. Frédéric Desjardins says the balloon angioplasty used in the liberation treatment carries known risks that are not insignificant.
The procedure involves inserting a catheter into a vein and then inflating a balloon to unblock the vein. While angioplasty is performed every day on heart patients with blocked coronary arteries, Desjardins warns it is not risk-free."We don't know the benefits of this procedure and the procedure has some risks to it. So in medicine, it's always a balance between risk and benefit," he told CTV's Canada AM Wednesday morning from Montreal.Desjardins explained that there are known complications from angioplasty, including the possibility of thrombosis, which is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel. The procedure can also cause an embolism, which is a clot that travels along a vessel until it clogs the vessel, or a CVA (cerebrovascular accident), also known as a stroke.
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