Friday, December 31, 2010

89: The Self-Empowered Woman: CCSVI

Dear Followers,As you may have noticed, I've only posted one blog in December. My explanation has nothing to do with research or inspiration (you should see the huge pile of "Blog subjects" waiting to be attacked!), but everything to do with our medically motivated trip to New York. The photo above is of Tony and me in Albany, and was taken the night before my CCSVI procedure.

CCSVI stands for Chronic Cerebro Spinal Venous Insufficiency, a term coined by Dr. Paolo Zamboni of Ferrara, Italy. When his wife developed MS, he explored the disease from a Vascular rather than Neurological perspective, and discovered that most people with MS have a congenital restriction of several major veins. This stenosis interferes with the venous blood flow, and that causes a back flow of iron molecules.

This angioplasty-like procedure is (finally) being performed in the U.S., and after spending 54 weeks in search of a skilled American doctor, Tony and I hit the jackpot. Our friend Bea Lewis introduced us to Dr. Gary Siskin, who has performed more of these procedures than any physician in North America.

We travelled to Albany with Ed Broderick, and learned that both Jugular veins and the Azygous were all compromised. Dr. Siskin and his staff completed the CCSVI procedure the next day, and two days later we flew back to Florida.

There are several CCSVI YouTube videos (see The Reformed MS Society) where patients have had dramatic improvements. In my case, I'm having small positive changes in my ability to move my right hand and left foot. And even though it's hard to explain, I just generally feel better and a bit stronger. In theory, if the veins remain open the improvements will continue.

Next week The Self-Empowered Woman blog will continue with more stories about amazing women, but for now here's hoping 2011 will be a fabulous year for all of us.

Looking forward to your comments...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on completion of the CCSVI surgery Marilyn!

    I am so happy that you had this surgery and it was successful. I consider it a victory for us all!

    The best is yet to come.