Renal Denervation for Hypertension

Catheter-based renal denervation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat severe drug-resistant hypertension.

The kidneys have long been known to be a major contributing factor in high blood pressure, causing blood vessel stiffness and salt and water retention. Renal denervation is a technique in which we deliver energy to the nerve supply of the kidneys thus selectively “quietening” the nerve impulses and removing the stimulant for high blood pressure. A thin catheter is inserted into the blood vessels, usually via the groin, and directed to the renal arteries where radiofrequency or ultrasound energy is used to deaden the nerves.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

This procedure helps reduce blood pressure that is difficult to manage via medication, thus significantly reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and death. It may also lead to a reduction in the number of tablets you need to take for your blood pressure.

Are there any alternatives?

This is the first procedure of its kind for the treatment of blood pressure and it is the only safe surgical technique without major side effects available for renal denervation. The alternatives are to continue lifestyle changes and tablet therapy.

Are there any risks?

As with all medical treatment there is a small risk of side effects from the procedure. These (short term) side effects include bruising and bleeding, dizziness and a drop in blood pressure (during the procedure).

The procedure may not work in a small proportion of patients and the full effects may not be seen for some months afterwards.

Consultants linked to treatment:

Location where service is offered:

Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital

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