The CCSVI procedure (TVAM) is performed on an outpatient basis at Synergy Health’s state-of-the-art medical center. The patient will receive conscious sedation to maintain comfort throughout the procedure, and the procedure will typically take under an hour to perform.
The primary treatment is an endovascular procedure in which a catheter is inserted via a small incision and threaded up into the jugular vein. A balloon is then inflated via the catheter, expanding the jugular vein in much the same way that coronary angioplasty expands narrowed arteries of the heart.
A New Understanding
The CCSVI procedure (TVAM) was originally thought to work via expanding a narrowed jugular vein, thus restoring proper flow of blood in the veins draining the central nervous system.
However, based on our extensive clinical experience with the procedure, we have come to believe that it may instead be the physical manipulation of the jugular vein that produces the symptomatic improvements experienced by patients. This expansion of the jugular vein can lead to stimulation of the autonomic nerve fibers, which runs alongside the jugular and is responsible for communication between the brain and the central nervous system.
Enhanced Imaging Protocols
Unlike those found in arteries, abnormalities in veins are subtle and challenging to identify. In this respect, venograms alone are inadequate in many cases. Therefore, Dr. Arata uses a small intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) probe attached to the end of the catheter to create pictures from inside of the veins.
This technique increases the accuracy of the overall evaluation of the venous system, and it allows for more precise measurements of the veins themselves.
The protocols followed at Synergy maximize the opportunity for symptom relief while also placing the greatest possible emphasis on patient safety.
Stents are not a typical part of the treatment. In unusual cases, veins that drain the spine such as the azygos may be compressed by external structures. In such cases, stents can be be highly effective in relieving venous compression.
After the Procedure
The majority of patients experience little to no discomfort following their procedure, and they are typically able to resume normal activity within two days time.
Patients are released from the center after they meet our discharge criteria and are asked to remain in the immediate area of the Synergy Health medical center for 48 hours following their procedure. After that, they are typically allowed to return to their homes.
In an effort to provide optimal safety and comfort, we have all patients stay at the Newport Beach Fairmont, which is located a short drive from the Synergy Health medical center.
*The actual benefits that individual patients experience from treatment can vary from patient to patient. This disparity is based on a number of factors that are often times uncontrollable. While most patients have experienced substantial relief, some patients describe symptom relief of a moderate degree. A small percentage who have undergone treatment have experienced minimal or no relief at all. While we make every effort to provide treatment that will improve symptoms to the greatest degree possible, there is no guarantee that treatment will provide symptom relief.