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What is the Liberation Treatment? (and why CCSVI Alliance uses other terms)

The term “Liberation Treatment” refers to Dr. Zamboni’s use of balloon angioplasty to open or “liberate” stenoses in a group of patients who had both CCSVI and MS. Many patients who had this treatment saw noticeable improvement in their MS condition. However, nearly half of the patients who underwent the Liberation Treatment restenosed. Patients who restenosed did not show continued improvement.

Note that the term “Liberation Treatment” has been erroneously used to refer to balloon angioplasty as a “liberation” (or cure) from MS itself; in fact, the term “Liberation Treatment” should only be applied to the process of removing/opening stenoses in the veins. The term was not meant to imply that a patient was being cured of MS.

Unfortunately, not only is the term Liberation Treatment frequently misused, but the word “liberation” itself is so emotionally laden that it often polarizes discussion of CCSVI. For some seeking treatment, the term may suggest a false hope and become erroneously linked to a “cure” for MS and not merely to a method to clear stenoses.  For those looking to denigrate CCSVI, the term is easily dismissed as grossly exaggerated and unscientific.

Moreover, even when used correctly, it’s not clear that “Liberation Treatment” is technically valid any longer. While Dr. Zamboni’s procedure generally used balloon angioplasty, other researchers and physicians have used stents, or a combination of angioplasty and stents, to clear or remove stenoses. Open surgery to remove abnormal valves, septums, or vein segments has also been proposed. All of these cases may exceed the procedure used by Dr. Zamboni, leaving it unclear whether the term “Liberation Procedure” is technically correct.

For all of these reasons, CCSVI Alliance uses the term “CCSVI Treatment,” or “Treatment for CCSVI” to refer more broadly to the general practice of using stents, angioplasty, surgery, or some combination of these to remove or clear the stenoses in patients with CCSVI.

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