What is renal denervation for hypertension?

Renal denervation is a transcatheter procedure used to treat severe drug-resistant hypertension.

The kidneys have long been known to be a major contributing factor in hypertension (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.

Consultants who offer renal denervation for hypertension

Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care is home to a number of specialists who treat private patients with hypertension:

Locations where renal denervation is offered

Royal Brompton Hospital 

Harefield Hospital

What are the benefits of renal denervation for hypertension?

This procedure helps reduce blood pressure that is difficult to manage via medication.

Therefore, this significantly reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and death. It may also lead to a reduction in the amount of medication that you need to take for your blood pressure.

Are there any risks of renal denervation for hypertension?

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.

Are there any alternatives to renal denervation for hypertension?

This is the first procedure of its kind for the treatment of blood pressure and it is the only safe technique without major side effects available for renal denervation.

The alternatives are to continue lifestyle changes and medication (tablet therapy).