High blood pressure which is also commonly known as hypertension is one of the most serious health conditions which claims nearly 8 million lives every year. There are numerous causes of hypertension among them obesity, smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, genetics, age or other chronic ailments. This condition has been termed as a slow and quiet killer because many people realize they have a problem when it has already wrecked havoc in the body. In light of this, there are many medications available to manage high blood pressure.
However, for people who have severe hypertension, they can become resistant meaning that the drugs will no longer work. This is a dire situation that has led to the creation new methods that are promising to have a breakthrough where severe hypertension is concerned. One example of a breakthrough procedure is the renal nerve denervation. The following is a highlight of what it is as well as the benefits that it promises to patients with drug resistant high blood pressure. First though, it is good to keep in mind that when hypertension is not treated, it can lead to other major illnesses. Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney disease.
What is renal nerve denervation and how is it done?
Renal nerve denervation is a procedure in which uncontrollable raised pressure of blood is treated through the killing or deadening of specific renal arteries or nerves that are known to be responsible for the condition. It involves a delicate procedure where a thin catheter is inserted through the groin to the renal arteries. Upon identification of the right nerves, radiofrequency or ultrasound is used to denerve or kill the nerves. The goal is to reduce the over activity of these arteries in the body.
Why renal nerve denervation and the benefits
This procedure is not so new. In the early 1950s, doctors were using it but it left serious effects and injuries to patients because the procedure was not sophisticated. Today, specialists have improved it greatly making it more effective without serious side effects. The deadening of certain renal nerves has been seen to lower high blood pressure significantly. On this basis, patients can benefit by managing their condition better. Experts have seen the positive results over a period of time and more patients are opting to go this direction.
Post treatment care
After renal nerve denervation, patients will be monitored closely. They are required to rest as much as possible before final tests can be done to determine success of the procedure. It may take months to really know whether it has worked and this calls for optimal patience. Pain will be managed in hospital and bed rest after going home is paramount to ensure that nerves stay calm. The good news is that the risk of blood vessel damage has been reduced greatly thanks to the new method of doing this procedure. Evaluation of renal function will be key and many patients will still continue taking their pressure medication.
For a comprehensive consultation to determine if thistreatment is suitable for your condition, contact us to make an appointment with our internationally recognised vascular surgeon , Dr Cheng Shin Chuen.