Friday, October 15, 2010

From Lifegaurd and AZ HEART

History and Origin of CCSVI
Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is a term used to describe compromised flow of blood in the veins draining the central nervous system. Outflow obstructions of the internal jugular veins, vertebral veins, and/or azygous vein and their tributaries result in stasis or reflux of these outflow veins and redirection of flow. Many patients with CCSVI appear to have multiple sclerosis (MS), and many patients with MS have CCSVI. This condition could also be related to other neurological diseases.
Vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni of Italy proposes that CCSVI has a role in the pathogenesis of MS. He suggests that resistance to cerebrospinal venous outflow causes vicarious redistribution through small collateral veins that cannot handle high flow. Zamboni and his colleagues theorized that the malformed blood vessels caused increased deposition of iron in the brain, which in turn triggers autoimmunity and degeneration of the nerve’s myelin sheath.
Dr. Zamboni and his associates have performed interventional procedures to correct CCSVI and find that 73% of patients improved. Some patients however, may only have transient relief, or no relief of their symptoms.
The Venous Impairment Program (VIP) at LifeGuard
LifeGuard and the Arizona Heart Institute (AHI) currently offer diagnostic testing and intervention for CCSVI. The testing/intervention include:
Bilateral internal jugular and vertebral venous duplex ultrasound taken in supine and upright position
Multi-slice venous CT of the head, neck, and chest to assess venous flow in the internal jugular, vertebrals and azygous veins.
Venogram and venoplasty with possible stent (currently, only when absolutely indicated)
CBC, CMP, lipids, PT/PTT, TSH, and EKG prior to the intervention.
The venogram is performed under local anesthesia. A small sheath (tube) is inserted into a vein in the groin. A catheter is inserted through the sheath and navigated into the neck and chest veins. Dye is injected in the veins to identify narrowing, blockage or other abnormalities. When observed, a balloon catheter is inserted and inflated to open the blood vessel and improve the flow. Currently stents are not routinely used.
If you have insurance that is accepted by AHI, they will file your insurance. Any noncovered services are your financial responsibility based on the cash pricing below. $2,500 for the diagnostic testing package includes:
Neurology record review
Duplex ultrasound
Venous CT
Test results reviewed with physician
Copies of test results
Preparation and explanation of venography and venoplasty if indicated
Consultation with Dr. Diethrich or his designee
Venous Impairment Program
VIP  2632 N. 20th Street  Phoenix, AZ 85006  Ph: 602.240.5866  Fax: 602.604.5039
A $300 non-refundable fee must be submitted with patient’s medical records. The $2200 balance will be collected prior to the diagnostic testing if accepted into the program. Venogram, venoplasty, laboratory analysis and EKG are $6,000 if performed. There will be an additional charge of $2,000 per stent if medically necessary. Acceptable funds are cash or credit card.
*Testing done at other locations will only be accepted if it meets the VIP protocol. We suggest that you have the testing here to avert unnecessary expenses.
What is Special about Our Program?
We have a highly skilled staff and testing and interventions are performed in one location over a one to two day period. In addition, Phoenix enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year, and offers fine dining, 5 star accommodations, sports and many other activities should you wish to combine pleasure with your medical care.
Out of Town Patients
Once accepted, you should plan on spending a minimum of two complete days to complete your testing and intervention. We will provide you with a list of nearby hotels.
To enroll in our program, please call 602-240-5866 or e-mail us at
Venous Impairment Program
VIP  2632 N. 20th Street  Phoenix, AZ 85006  Ph: 602.240.5866  Fax: 602.604.5039
John A. Sutherland, MD - Cardiologist
Director, Cardiovascular Imaging, Arizona Heart Institute
Dr. John A. Sutherland is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and has championed the applications of vascular ultrasound, 64-slice CT Angiography and MR imaging for advanced cardiovascular diagnostics. He has designed some of the innovative image technology used in our program. Dr. Sutherland joined the Arizona Heart Institute in 1998 after practicing cardiology for 20 years in Augusta, Maine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in Massachusetts, received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, and completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Sutherland is a member of the American College of Cardiology.
Edward B. Diethrich, MD - Cardiovascular Surgeon
Medical Director and Founder of the Arizona Heart Institute
Dr. Edward B. Diethrich is regarded as one of the world’s pioneers in heart disease diagnosis and innovative cardiovascular treatments. Under the tutelage of famed heart surgeons Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Denton Cooley, Dr. Diethrich completed his thoracic and cardiovascular training at Baylor College of Medicine where he remained as assistant professor in surgery until 1971 when he founded the Arizona Heart Institute, the nation’s first freestanding outpatient clinic devoted solely to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel disease.
Dr. Diethrich actively performs state-of-the art cardiovascular and endovascular procedures using the latest techniques, many of which he developed and brought to market. He is board certified in general, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and is a member of all the specialty societies representing the cardiovascular field including the American College of Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, Fellow Royal College of Surgeons, and Chairman of the Board of the International Society of Endovascular Specialists.
VIP Faculty Leadership


  1. Hey Tisa,
    I was treated Oct 13th by Dr.D. He was really great as was the entire staff. Thank you so much for all of your efforts to get the word out. I have had numb hands since my MS diagnosis in 2004. Since the angio a few days ago, I can now feel my hands. My neck is a little sore but other than that I am feeling good. Again thank you so much. Cynthia

  2. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 1983. I can hardly walk now and it seems my condition worsens every day. When I first heard about the Liberation procedure and its results from a friend, I thought United States would be the first to conduct the trials. I could never imagine the corruption involved. I ended up applying for this simple procedure in Poland and waiting.. The other options were to get it done in India. After researching the internet extensively, I came across . They are screening for CCSVI in Fargo, ND and have very affordable packages for the Liberation procedure in India. I called (404)461-9560 and spoke to their nurse administrator Lisa whose priceless support made me realize that we are not alone in the fight against MS. They are screening within the US and Canada, their medical travel package includes flight arrangements and help with the visas, world class accommodation and meals within their hospitals, the liberation procedure, a stent if needed, medications necessary, a site-seeing tour, Pre-and post-procedure supervision, Full medical file including copies of charts, screens, CDs of Venograms, blood work, EKGs, etc. Post Procedure Screenings, follow-up and consultation with surgeons for the next 6 months and so many other provisions Lisa told me about, I can’t recall however you might be able to find out more on their site.. . They are providing all of this at just $13000 as compared to the other companies that charge something like $20000 just for the procedure. You may also contact Lisa by emailing her at or calling her on (404)461-9560. I am getting liberated mid- November and I am so very thankful to everyone at CCSVI Clinic for making this happen!

  3. It is estimated that the failure rate of the “liberation therapy” may be 50% or higher, even through the most experienced surgeons in Poland & Albany. As more people receive the therapy there is growing concern amongst patients that the procedure needs to include a post-procedure protocol that is more effective than simply releasing the patient from the hospital within a day.

  4. While US courts conduct legal battles over the ethics of stem cell research and Big Pharma shuts down clinical trials citing ‘tighter budgets’, North Americans wait for solid proof of stem cell efficacy for many disease conditions. Health organizations such as the National Cancer Institute issue continual warnings about lack of proof for stem cell therapy. National media shows like CBSs’ 60 Minutes, paid for by their advertisers that include Big Pharma, perform razor-sharp hatchet jobs on those quack clinics doing fake stem cell therapy, but in the process paint every other clinic everywhere doing stem cell research and therapy with the same brush.
    In the meantime, medical institutions in other countries plough along with research from trials that not only provide good evidence on the safety of stem cells, but also their efficacy for many disease conditions with autoimmune causes. For example, the current accepted treatment strategies for MS are only known to decrease inflammation but have no effect on repairing material damage to the CNS, effectively reversing the disease.For more details visit

  5. Stem cells are “non-specialized” cells that have the potential to form into other types of specific cells, such as blood, muscles or nerves. They are unlike "differentiated" cells which have already become whatever organ or structure they are in the body. Stem cells are present throughout our body, but more abundant in a fetus.
    Medical researchers and scientists believe that stem cell therapy will, in the near future, advance medicine dramatically and change the course of disease treatment. This is because stem cells have the ability to grow into any kind of cell and, if transplanted into the body, will relocate to the damaged tissue, replacing it. For example, neural cells in the spinal cord, brain, optic nerves, or other parts of the central nervous system that have been injured can be replaced by injected stem cells. Various stem cell therapies are already practiced, a popular one being bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia. In theory and in fact, lifeless cells anywhere in the body, no matter what the cause of the disease or injury, can be replaced with vigorous new cells because of the remarkable plasticity of stem cells. Biomed companies predict that with all of the research activity in stem cell therapy currently being directed toward the technology, a wider range of disease types including cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and even multiple sclerosis will be effectively treated in the future. Recently announced trials are now underway to study both safety and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation in MS patients because of promising early results from previous trials.
    Research into stem cells grew out of the findings of two Canadian researchers, Dr’s James Till and Ernest McCulloch at the University of Toronto in 1961. They were the first to publish their experimental results into the existence of stem cells in a scientific journal. Till and McCulloch documented the way in which embryonic stem cells differentiate themselves to become mature cell tissue. Their discovery opened the door for others to develop the first medical use of stem cells in bone marrow transplantation for leukemia. Over the next 50 years their early work has led to our current state of medical practice where modern science believes that new treatments for chronic diseases including MS, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and many more disease conditions are just around the corner. For more information please visit