New Hope for Hypertension Patients
Renal Denervation presents new frontiers in hypertension treatment.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure as most would call it, is not something new to the developed world. If you are reading this article, we are sure you know at least one person in your life who’s struggling with this condition. Although common, the truth is, it cannot be taken lightly. According to the World Health Organisation, hypertension represents the number one risk factor for premature deaths worldwide. Why is that? Over time, we are looking at heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and the list goes on.
The Source of Elevation
There are multiple sources that cause hypertension. However, the most difficult to treat involves a special regulating mechanism called the sympathetic nervous system. Its role in our body is essentially to keep our blood pressure in check. This system connects major organs such as the brain, heart, kidney and blood vessels. For those with hypertension, the renal nerves around the kidney area tend to become hyperactive, which produces a linking effect to the rest of the organs.
A Glimmer Awaits
Yes, prescribing medication is still the method of choice that is used to treat hypertension. But not everyone responds well to it. There are some who are on three or more different prescriptions and yet experience little progress in seeing that vital drop come to pass. All is not lost, however.
There is a new treatment available called Renal Denervation (RDN) or Ardian. It is minimally invasive and involves a catheter-based procedure where a tube is inserted via an entry point in your hip area and directed into the kidney arteries. Following that, radiofrequency waves are utilised to interrupt the supply of hyperactive renal nerves within the arteries supplying the kidney with blood, which in turn reduces blood pressure. The whole procedure takes an estimated two hours to complete and is done under moderate sedation.
Although hypertension is diagnosed in patients with a blood pressure persistently above 140/90mmHg, only those whose blood pressure exceed 160/90mmHg qualify for RDN at this point; that is after multiple drug treatment are without encouraging results.
Walk Out Renewed
Clinical studies have ascertained a reduction of around 32/12mmHg in patients’ blood pressure after six months following RDN treatment. Its positive effects have been known to last for a long time.
The minimally invasive nature of the procedure also allows patients to be discharged after one to three days; a boon for time-strapped individuals who cannot afford the downtime associated with long recovery periods.
What the Future Holds
As mentioned earlier, only patients on three or more medications are allowed to undergo RDN at this stage. That said, in time, as more data is collected on this revolutionary treatment method, it will be made available to a wider range of patients.