It looks like there is going to be an official clinical trial of the angioplasty treatment for MS. http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01089686?term=ccsvi&rank=1
They expect to have results in about 1 year. This is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
But it raises a few questions for those of us who were planning to have it done soon. Should we go ahead and have it done now or should we wait until the clinical trials are done?
I've been thinking about the advantages/disadvantages either way. Here are some of the advantages to waiting:
1) It should answer positively the question of whether Liberation is an effective treatment for MS before we go through the expense, risk, and difficulty of having it done.
2) If it becomes an accepted practive it should be available locally without the need to travel across the country or out of the country. That's a big advantage if follow-ups visits are required and for people who have difficulty traveling.
3) If it becomes an accepted practice it should be covered by health care insurance.
4) They may learn to improve the technique during the study.Disadvantages to waiting:
1) You won't get it as fast. If your condition is rapidly declining that could be an issue.
2) They aren't including people with PPMS in the study so the question of wether it works for PPMS will remain unanswered by this study.
If you have other thoughts about the advantages of waiting vs having it now please list them.
David, my wife had the procedure done in April, here is my take on your questions:
1. Expense - it was 90% covered by our Blue Cross. I believe it was written up as a venous blockage.
Risk - True, there is a risk to every medical procedure, but the risk in CCSVI ballooning is almost nil. It is similar to what IR's do hundreds of times a year. Granted stents add a slightly higher risk, but you can insist on no stenting.
Difficulty - My wife was back home within 3 hours of having the procedure done. What difficulty?
2. We had the procedure done at our local hospital, 14 miles from home. The procedure is now being done by many IR's throughout the country.
3. As I mentioned above, it should already be covered, provided your IR does the paperwork properly.
4. This is a valid point. However having blocked jugulars and or azygos corrected is something that can be done right now. If other things are found in the future, at least you have started to attack the problem.
The clinical trials are a tremendous step forward, but having the procedure done independently of them certainly makes sense to me.