There have been complications in this procedure, and your doctor is correct to caution you. A few people (more than Lew- and maybe they can comment) have had what appears to be accessory nerve damage. This nerve comes down out of the jugular foramen and crosses the IJV between C1-2 in the cervical spine....this is right where many have stenosis blockage, and the stent is putting pressure on the nerve. This area of the neck is a tight space...and if you make room for the stent and an open IJV, there is a risk the nerve may get pushed out of the way. Marie can speak more on this, but her physiatrist has told her that in her case, the nerve is regenerating and should heal completely. My husband had shoulder pain and spasm, but no long term nerve issues. This is new territory for stenting. Venous stenting has been done for many years in other parts of the body with good patency and long term results, but there are not many folks with IJV stents.
Being on coumadin is also a risk. Read up on the blood thinner protocol. We had a beloved member here at TIMS, Holly (peekaboo) who died. She had a stoke- unrelated to her procedure-but her being on coumadin did not help. Her INR number was not very high, and it may have all been a horrible coincidence, but your doc is right about the blood thinner. I was so relieved when Jeff was done with that.
So, there are many things to think about. This is surgery, and it carries risks. We didn't know what those would be five months ago when Jeff has his stents put in. We know more now, but we still don't know the long term patency of stents in the IJV. You need to talk about this with you doctor and be fore-warned.
In my husband's case, he is very happy he did this, and the end of his fatigue, heat intolerance, better sleep, less pain and spasms is his reward for being a guinea pig. The ballooning did not work for him- his jugs needed the stents to stay open.
Hope this answers your questions-
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09