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The Liberation to Peel Potatoes, Hold a Spoon, Drink Some Water: MS Patients Talk About Getting Treated for CCSVI

Posted Oct 21 2010 9:57pm
I've been following the news related to Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency - a condition that in 2008 was discovered by Italian interventional cardiologist Dr. Paolo Zamboni to be strongly correlated with MS.  Canada and the US have essentially called a moratorium on treating - and in many cases even allowing for the diagnosis of - the condition, an inconvenience that has many Canadians boarding planes to work with medical teams in Bulgaria, Poland, Mexico and Costa Rica.  

The anecdotal evidence that the procedure is indeed having a positive outcome on MS patient function is strong and consistent.  Hospital Angeles has treated more than 150 patients in just the past few months, with patients leaving testimonials at special sites like, CCSVI Locator, and The Reformed MS Society (many of these sites are run by MS patients) detailing their experience: 

Pat V. of Alberta Canada wrote: "The results were AMAZING - I have complete circulation in my feet (pink feet with visible veins, not purple and not swollen twice their size), total feeling in my hands.   I can hold my silverware without dropping it."   When I visited at the hospital, Larry casually lifted a bottle of water and took a sip, then said to me with a grin, "I haven't been able to do that for two years."

 Another patient I visited with - Larry F of Calgary, drank from his plastic water bottle and then crowed to me, "I have not been able to do that for more than two years!" 

 Darlene F. of Canora, Canada was interviewed by newspapers and television reporters upon her return from Mexico."Damn right I feel liberated," she is quoted as saying, referring to the fact that the treatment for CCSVI has become known by Dr. Zamboni's name for it:  "The Liberation Method".  

Darlene noted that while she was not expecting 'miracles' since her treatment she has definitely noticed a constant improvement in her ability to walk and the dexterity in her hands. “I talk better, walk better and write better," she says, and points to the fact that 48 hours after the procedure she went for a 9-block walk - a feat that has been impossible for years.

"For seven years, I haven’t been able to peel a potato," she says, grinning. 

Many patients share their stories by video such as Paul W. of Saskatchewan, who has had MS since age 18   - more than 30 years ago – but was not diagnosed until a decade ago when worsening attacks led him to a neurologist who found lesions in the brain. Paul’s venogram revealed 90% blockage of his jugular and azygous veins and like many MS patients experienced immediate improvements while still ‘on the table’ for the venoplasty (performed under local anesthetic).  

Patients like Paul, Darlene and Pat scoff at the notion they are grasping at straws or falling prey to ‘snake oil’ treatments, as some in the popular press have called the procedure.   “. I did not go with the expectation to get out of my wheelchair and start walking--that will be up to me and physical therapy,” Pat V. tells us in her story. “But I have my writing skills back, I can finish my book.”    The book, she shares, is about her journey out of MS.

 Update: North American hospitals are generally steering clear of CCSVI diagnostic testing and intervention, although clinics in San Diego  and New York are working with MS sufferers on an outpatient basis.  Many Canadians and Americans are having their CCSVI Intervention in Mexico, where the leading proviers are Hospital Angeles, Excel Medical Center (both of Tijuana) and Star Medica Hospital in Merida. Angeles offers a live medical webcast about CCSVI treatment that is free to MS patients, caregivers, friends and family.

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