James F. McGuckin, M.D.
Dr. McGuckin treats CCSVI at multiple VAC locations including: *Seattle, WA* Downey, CA* Landover, MD* Washington, DC*
Dr. McGuckin brings over fifteen years of experience as an Interventional Radiologist to Vascular Access Centers. With expertise in multiple endovascular arenas, he brings his full skill-set and passion to each case, recognizing that each patient is different. Given his extensive background in both arterial and venous disorders, it was no surprise when a patient approached Dr. McGuckin in the spring of 2009 requesting he open up a blockage in his neck to “help his MS.” While Dr. McGuckin was confident that he could open the blockage, he was skeptical about the patient’s claim that it would help with the symptoms he was experiencing from MS. He began to do some research and of course, stumbled upon some material outlining Dr. Zamboni’s theory and the accompanying research. Dr. McGuckin firmly believed that vascular stenoses played a significant contributing factor to MS, and that the etiology of this disease is multi-factorial. Now, after having treated roughly 200 patients with CCSVI to date, Dr. McGuckin concludes, “every MS patient that I have evaluated for CCSVI has had abnormal veins.” Understanding the importance of a diagnosis of CCSVI in MS patients seeking out treatment, he feels that there are several options. While Doppler studies are useful, Dr. McGuckin recognizes that they are technically demanding and feels that an MR Venogram is more reproducible and can act as a helpful guide in complex cases. When asked about his experience when it comes to patient outcomes, it is clear that Dr. McGuckin has truly seen some amazing results. Some of the more compelling outcomes include a particularly rewarding week where he had five individuals who came into our center in their wheelchairs and left walking. Additionally, he says “I had a man who was non-verbal for over three years speak his children’s names again post-procedure.” He has seen some pretty profound results. “I had a patient who was only able to recognize that there was a circle on the wall but following treatment, was able to see that it was a clock…down to the individual hash marks denoting seconds.” Dr. McGuckin does not take for granted the positive impact he has had on these patients’ lives. “There are varying degrees of improvement, but to the patient and their family, something seemingly small can be a huge factor in improvement of their overall quality of life,” says Dr. McGuckin. “I am just happy to be part of it all.” When asked about his opinion on how he thinks CCSVI treatment will evolve over time, Dr. McGuckin makes a few predictions, saying “I think this will evolve into a low-pressure balloon therapy.” “Additionally,” he states, “in the future, we will likely see devices that are able to remove portions of abnormal valves, as well as vein-friendly stents.”
Robert Worthington-Kirsch, M.D.
Dr. Kirsch treats CCSVI at multiple VAC locations including: *Seattle, WA* Landover, MD* Washington, DC* Trenton, NJ*
Robert L Worthington-Kirsch, MD was raised in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He attended MIT, from which he received Bachelors Degrees in Molecular Biology and Comparative Western Religion (minor in Ancient and Medieval European History). He then attended Medical School at the University of Massachusetts, receiving his MD in 1986. During his Residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in the Philadelphia area, Dr Worthington-Kirsch discovered his passion for Interventional Radiology. He is Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology and Sub-specialty Certified in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Dr. Worthington-Kirsch brings fifteen years of interventional experience to Vascular Access Centers. Dr. Kirsch became particularly interested in Interventional Radiology because of the wide array of effective endovascular therapies that have real benefits to patients' quality of life. Throughout his career, Dr. Kirsch has been very active in treating women for uterine fibroids with an embolization procedure that almost always cures their symptoms and allows them to avoid a major abdominal surgery. Over the last ten years, Dr. Kirsch has also been very active in treating patients who suffer from severe venous disease. Dr. Kirsch believes that his endovascular training in these specialized areas has provided him with a firm foundation to pursue the CCSVI treatment as an additional service offering. Dr Worthington-Kirsch has been in practice in the Philadelphia area since 1990, concentrating on IR. His main areas of practice are in fibroid embolization, treatment of superficial venous insufficiency, and other IR procedures. Dr Worthington-Kirsch has been actively involved in research surrounding fibroid embolotherapy since 1996, and has the one of the largest single operator experiences with the procedure in the world. He holds an academic appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Imaging at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Mario Moya, MD
Vascular Access Center of Mays Landing, NJ
Dr. Mario Moya has been in practice as an Interventional Radiologist for 16 years and is particularly passionate about endovascular treatment options. Dr. Moya also has a pointed interest in Cardiovascular Medicine and the Nuerosciences. Dr. Moya has performed endovascular procedures including Carotid Artery interventions, Intra-Cranial Arterial Supply Embolization, as well as extensive venous work in the neck either due to trauma or access-related issues. Dr. Moya noted that the initial reports by Dr. Zamboni suggesting a possible link between Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Cerebral Venous Drainage problems caught his attention. With regard to CCSVI treatment, he recognizes that some areas in medicine are no doubt incompletely understood, but states "controversy in medicine is not a new thing. However, providing hope to so many young people affected with this dreadful disease motivates me to offer this treatment." Performing these procedures, he is motivated by patients' reports of extraordinary sensations in affected limbs during the actual angioplasty. Dr. Moya is impressed by the compelling results he has seen, stating "without a doubt, hearing someone speak after years of silence- even if slow or broken speech, standing without a walker, or simply moving a hand or foot that was otherwise compromised has given me the motivation to continue." When asked about his opinion of how CCSVI treatment will evolve over time, his answer shows compassion. He says, "so much remains to be learned and discovered. The clinical studies in progress are vital to all of us, including patients and clinicians. However, let us not forget the families. It is they who carry the burden of watching their loved ones succumb to this unforgiving and relentless disease."
Daniel Simon, M.D.
Vascular Access Center of West Orange, NJ
Dr. Simon comes to Vascular Access Centers (VAC) with expertise in the area of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Simon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brown University and graduated from Medical School at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Simon was an Intern in the Department of Medicine at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he was honored with the Leo Rigler Award for his outstanding performance as a house officer. Dr. Simon performed his fellowship training in Interventional Radiology at the prestigious University of California San Francisco. Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. Simon spent five years at North Shore University Hospital, where he was the Co-Chief of the Interventional Radiology division. Most recently, Daniel Simon, MD, spent seven years at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ where his work with the Neuroscience Stroke Team led patients to seek him out for a new, innovative endovascular cerebral venous procedure: Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI). His work with patients suffering from CCSVI led the New York Times to feature his work as the lead story in their Science Times section (click to read the article). This feature article has caused many to continue to seek out his talents to address their CCSVI. He has performed several dozen CCSVI procedures during his tenure at JFK Hospital and has recently joined the VAC team in West Orange, NJ, where in his first months as Medical Director, he was again sought out to perform this treatment. With this innovative procedure has been able to bring relief to patients with Multiple Sclerosis who are suffering from symptoms of CCSVI.
Jorge Salazar, M.D.
Vascular Access Center of Memphis, TN
Dr. Jorge Salazar has been a practicing Interventional Radiologist in the Memphis area for over ten years. Dr. Salazar is a big believer that his experience treating Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Central Venous Stenoses/Occlusions (CVO) via angioplasty and stents has contributed to his success with CCSVI patients as well. Similarly, these are very routine and low-risk procedures that can be done safely and comfortably in the outpatient setting. Dr. Salazar first heard about CCSVI from a patient's family. The family took the time to research this condition and had become very knowledgeable and highly educated on all aspects of CCSVI. They requested that Dr. Salazar treat their mother. Dr. Salazar accepted, knowing that he could easily relate his skill set and experience to this innovative application as well. The patient showed great improvement following the procedure, and consequently, Dr. Salazar made the decision to continue to treat CCSVI because of the real potential benefits to patients and their families. "The results are compelling," states Dr. Salazar. "Our very first patient was wheelchair-bound upon her initial visit. Within two and a half weeks post-procedure, she was able to use just a walker to get around." The results suggest that a correlation between CCSVI and MS may in fact exist. Dr. Salazar is excited to be part of the Hubbard Registry to support ongoing research. He believes that if the initial theory is substantiated, the Liberation procedure should be considered for first line treatment for all symptomatic MS patients.
Ruchdi Barakat, M.D.
Vascular Access Center of Houston, TX
Dr. Barakat is an experienced Interventional Nephrologist and an expert in Vascular Access procedures, performing close to 5000 access cases over the last three years. Dr. Barakat's busy practice has led patients with a wide array of endovascular issues through the doors of his center. His interest in CCSVI was particularly peaked by the high demand of patients' interest in seeking this treatment out and the ongoing research of this new promising theory. In Dr. Barakat's experience, he has seen improvement of fatigue with marked increase in energy levels fairly uniformly in patients with MS that get treated for CCSVI. He also notes that roughly one third of these patients also have significant motor function improvement. When asked about the importance of MS patients getting tested and treated for CCSVI as soon as possible, Dr. Barakat suggests, "getting tested and treated for CCSVI is an option that should be offered to every MS patient. The low risk for adverse outcomes and high potential for significant improvement of patients' symptoms certainly warrants this proactive approach." Dr. Barakat is enthusiastic about the Houston site participating in the IRB-approved Hubbard Registry as well. He feels that the registry will help to provide a nation-wide analysis with more clarity around the evidence of a possible link between MS and CCSVI. According to Dr. Barakat, "if it shows solid evidence of the positive impact that the Liberation procedure may have on MS patients, then this modality of treatment should become a standard of care."
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