Local resident travels to New York for innovative surgery
Local resident Misha Zibin, 33, will be travelling to New York in June to have surgery that he said will have a profound effect on his life.
Zibin has multiple sclerosis (MS) and the surgery, called the Liberation Procedure, has started to change the way people think about the disease.
Zibin first learned about the procedure when it was featured on CTV’s W5 and since then he’s been spending a lot of sleepless nights researching it and arranging for his surgery.
The procedure was pioneered by Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni. This doctor found that people with MS have malformed veins in the neck area. These veins flush blood from the brain. Zamboni called this disorder CCSVI, or Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency The procedure used to correct this is angioplasty, a procedure that’s been in use since the 1970s, says Zibin.
This procedure involves a different way of looking at MS as a congenital defect rather than an auto-immune disease, said Zibin.
Studies are still underway, but because of the simplicity of the procedure, Zibin says he’s not worried.
“I’ve tried all the drugs, I’ve tried chemotherapy,” he said. “This is a non-pharmaceutical treatment.”
Zibin說 我已經厭倦了使用藥物, 我受夠了化學方式的治療, 這是一個非藥物的治療
There was one incidence where a person undergoing the procedure suffered complications and had to have open-heart surgery. However, Zibin says he believes the procedure is generally safe.
Suzanne Jay, director of communications for the MS Society of the B.C. and Yukon said the procedure only came to light about six months ago, so there hasn’t been enough research done for it to be approved by Health Canada.
However, she said, the MS Society is currently accepting research proposals regarding CCSVI, and it will be announced o June 14, which research projects will be funded. As well, she said the MS Society has called on the federal government to invest $10 million into CCSVI research.
“There are people who have conditions that are urgent, who are starting to seek out privately provided services,” she said. “One day this research will make it more possible for people to make better decisions about their health, but right now we’re operating in an information deficit.”
Zibin, who uses a wheelchair, says the procedure won’t allow him to walk again. However, it will make him stronger and make it easier to stand and transfer in and out of the wheelchair. As well, he says it will help him with other symptoms such as fatigue and heat exhaustion. Right now, he can’t go outside during the day in the summertime, and feels tired enough to take a nap shortly after breakfast.
Zibin目前都使用輪椅, 雖然手術不能保證他可以站起來, 但是他認為手術能夠讓他比較容易上下輪椅或站著, 並且能夠改善容易疲憊的症狀. 他現在在吃完早餐後就疲累的需要睡個小覺才行.
Most importantly, it will help stop the progression of the disease, he says, which if left untreated could leave him bedridden.
As the surgery isn’t approved in Canada yet, Zibin will have to pay for it along with his own expenses. However, he said his reason for going to the press is not to help with fundraising, which is already underway with garage sales and a borscht feed at the USCC, but to raise awareness of the disease and the procedure.
“I’m so excited about this,” he said. “I think everyone with MS should know about this.”
Zibin說 我很興奮, 我認為每一個MS患者都應該知道這件事!
Zibin was first diagnosed with MS in 2001; however, he says he’s had symptoms since 1995.