Wow, this guy is working late. Dr. Siskin called again tonight at 7pm Pacific. So he is up calling us MSers at 10pm his time. impressive. He spent several minutes querying me about my MS diagnosis and symptoms. Next we discussed CCSVI and its diagnosis. Here are some points I found encouraging.
1. TESTING: Like Sclafani, Siskin believes that a catheter venogram is the gold standard for diagnosing CCSVI. For those of us traveling long distances to be treated (Canadians and west coasters), he doesn't believe we should be subjected to the vagaries of a preliminary MRV or doppler US.
2. EXPERIENCE: He (or his clinic?) has already performed 15 procedures. They have scheduled 60 more. Siskin estimated that my wait would be 2 months. He is very hopeful that that timeline will become shorter.
3. IRB APPROVED STUDY: As I think was said before, they are contemplating an IRB approved study, but that is a separate deal. They are treating people now and not waiting for a study.
4. INSURANCE: They have had success with billing insurance.
5. COST: For those having to pay out-of-pocket they will try to minimize costs by performing the procedure at their clinic rather than the hospital. At their clinic, the venogram runs approximately $3,000. Angioplasty adds another $2,000 (per?). Stents are $2,000 per. The hospital would be over $12,000 for the procedure, but there is less waiting using the hospital's facilities as opposed to the clinic.
Well, that is all I can remember. He was quite nice and patiently answered all my questions. I was very encouraged and almost feel like celebrating, but don't want to jinx anything.