Renal Denervation



Hypertension or high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease. It is also one of the most important causes of chronic kidney failure. Some 30-40% of the world's adult population suffer from hypertension, and, of these, 5-10% suffer truly resistant hypertension. Hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system serving the kidneys is associated with hypertension and its progression.

Hypertension Management

Treatments for hypertension include lifestyle measures and taking blood pressure lowering medicines. Changes in lifestyle that could lower the blood pressure include restriction of salt intake, weight loss and increased physical activity. There are many different kinds of anti-hypertensive drugs available for treatment and it is widely accepted now that most patients will need 2-3 drugs to control their blood pressure in addition to observing lifestyle measures.

Catheter based renal denervation

This is a new, minimally invasive treatment for resistant hypertension. It involves the placement of a very thin tube (catheter) through the femoral artery in the groin, to each renal artery under x-ray guidance. Inside the renal artery, radio-frequency energy is delivered to the sympathetic nerves of the kidney, which deactivates them permanently. This results in interruption of important signals that cause high blood pressure and subsequent lowering of blood pressure which starts within weeks after the therapy. The treatment takes about 40 minutes in total and requires an overnight stay in the hospital.

To date there have been no serious complications in any of the patients treated with this procedure worldwide. The commonest problems which only occur in a minority of patients include bruising/discomfort in the groin/leg following the procedure. There is no evidence that the procedure causes any problems with kidney function.

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Renal Denervation

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