I had a phone consult with Dr. Dake the other day to review the result of my Stanford ultrasound exam earlier this month.
He said the result suggests that flow in the left IJV and operation of the lower valve are not optimal, and that if I want to explore further treatment, he'd suggest angioplasty at the location of this valve, located roughly behind my left clavicle. He said this procedure would involve minimal risk, but that there would be some risk as with any internal procedure, and that he could not be sure of any specific result, also that although this would not require an over-night stay in the hospital, I would need to be on blood thinners again for a short time.
I told him that given the low risk, I'd consider having this done. He said that Alexandra would be in touch with me to schedule an appointment.
Since then, I've given this more thought, and have decided not to proceed for several reasons:
1) My primary insurance is Medicare, my secondary will only pay after Medicare pays. Medicare has decided not to pay for my last Stanford exams, and I assume Medicare may also balk at paying for an angioplasty procedure (Medicare has paid only $130 of $3400 in charges at Stanford over the last few months).
2) There is low risk of thrombosis, or other complication with angioplasty, but there was also low risk that my shoulder would be adversely affected by the IJV stent procedure from a few years ago. Given the slow/incomplete recovery of my shoulder (I'll probably be dealing with this complication for the rest of my life, like an old war injury) I don't want any further issues to deal with.
3) This procedure would not be part of a formal study, and given the slow rate of progression of MS in me at this point, I have time to wait for more medical studies to complete, further results to be published, consensus to be reached in the medical community regarding CCSVI, and Medicare to cover the procedure before I proceed (or not).
So, this phase of my CCSVI Stanford story is now complete. I'll probably continue with yearly MRV follow-up tests, but no further procedures at this point (Medicare did NOT pay for my last neck MRV or ultrasound exams at Stanford, and it paid only a small amount for my consultation with Dr. Dake).
For the record...