The procedure currently used in our clinic in the treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is at the highest global level. Both advanced diagnostics and operational techniques reduce the risk of side effects to a minimum. For this reason, people suffering from multiple sclerosis are very often interested in it. There may or may not be signs of venous insufficiency in MS. The patients' interest in new forms of therapy is understandable. While the procedure of clearing the veins may restore their proper functioning, it is difficult to say that about pharmacological treatment.
Side effects in CCSVI and pharmacological treatment
Each medicine used to treat MS causes numerous side effects. In many cases, they are much more severe to the patient than the symptoms of the disease itself. For this reason, many patients decide to discontinue medication and are looking for alternative therapies. What's more, apart from numerous and strong side effects, the drugs used in MS are not very effective. This is confirmed by numerous opinions and research:
"Currently available MS drugs have low effectiveness"
"In March 2018, the Main Pharmaceutical Inspector withdrew from the circulation throughout the country all series of Zinbryta solution for injection. It is used by people with multiple sclerosis. The decision is related to the suspicion that the use of the drug causes serious side effects. "- giv.gov.pl
"In many patients, we often need to change medication because of inadequate response to treatment, tolerance problems, and because of the risk of side effects. The main adverse reactions associated with immunosuppression include, in particular, serious bacterial, fungal and viral infections and the development of cancers "- prof. Vermersch
For comparison, CCSVI treatment is characterized by minimal side effects, which result not only from the nature of the therapy, but also its duration. In the case of vein clearing, we deal with a one-hour treatment a few hours. Pharmacological treatment is used for a lifetime. In the case of young people, this is associated with long-term therapy.
The table below shows the comparison between conventional (pharmacological) therapy and CCSVI.
It is worth noting that the documented effectiveness of CCSVI therapy is based on the old methodology of prof. Zamboniego from 2009. It was significantly different from the one currently used in our clinic. In this case, only a narrow section of the venous system was subject to therapy. At CCSVI Clinic, we diagnose the entire venous system from intracranial veins to the renal vein. The diagnosis is based on the magnetic resonance image and the measurement of pressure gradients using an intravascular ultrasound. All irregularities are eliminated during a few-hour operation. One of the goals of our research program is to check the effectiveness of CCSVI therapy conducted according to modern methods. We can say today that the results are impressive.
Costs of pharmacological therapy and CCSVI
Taking into account the cost of pharmacological therapy and CCSVI surgery, it is easy to fall into a trap. It must be remembered that CCSVI surgery is a one-time procedure, and immunosuppressive drugs are used throughout life. In practice, spending on medication in MS continues until accumulated side effects prevent further treatment.
Currently, the cost of surgery in our clinic is equivalent to 6-7 months of conventional therapy. The differences here are quite significant depending on the type of drugs used. The comparison of the costs of CCSVI operations in relation to pharmacological treatment is most advantageous in the case of first-generation drugs, both in Poland and abroad. The annual cost of such treatment in the US is 75 thousand. USD, more than 3 times more than a procedure that removes most of the neurological symptoms almost immediately. Pharmacological treatment in Poland is much cheaper. Despite this, the cost of using the cheapest interferon - Rebif for only a year is similar to the therapy, the effects of which are permanent.
The table below compares the costs of pharmacological treatment for CCSVI therapy. Values are expressed in dollars, while for medicines they include one-year treatment. In the case of CCSVI Clinic we have a one-time operation.
Soon, CCSVI Clinic will also be used by patients from Germany and Switzerland. The cost of the surgery is higher for them than for Poles. Despite this, the health systems in Germany and Switzerland still decide to refund. More and more countries in Western Europe are looking for an alternative to pharmacological treatment. A single treatment reduces the total cost of treatment and allows patients to return to full activity - including professional life.
Currently, a large part of the medical community is willing to use pharmacology as the primary method of treatment. It is worth noting, however, that medicines usually only endure or alleviate the symptoms of the disease. They do not cure the cause. This is also the case for SM. The use of the word "treatment" in relation to medications used in multiple sclerosis is an abuse. They only slow down the development of the disease, offering in return a range of dangerous side effects.
We also can not unambiguously state that the therapy used in our clinic cures because it has not yet been proven. However, we believe that the results our patients experience are much better than what pharmacology offered. This is all the more important because our form of therapy does not last for years and does not bind the patient with pills for life.