Renal denervation is an innovative, interventional procedure designed to lower blood pressure by neutralising the over-active nerves around the artery that supplies blood to the kidney.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition whereby the pressure in your blood vessels is too high. It can usually be controlled effectively, often by lifestyle changes and/or medication, but can be serious if left untreated.
Only available in specialist centres, renal denervation has been shown to reduce blood pressure in about half of patients who undergo the procedure.
Coupled alongside medication and lifestyle changes, renal denervation can help patients of all ages lower and manage their blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure helps to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease or a heart attack. In some patients, renal denervation may also help to reduce the quantity and dosage of medication required, which in turn may reduce any negative side effects.
Who is renal denervation suitable for?
Renal denervation may not be suitable for all patients and is mostly recommended for those who are unable to reduce their blood pressure via medication and lifestyle changes alone. It is only delivered in specialist centres by expert cardiologists, and your cardiology consultant will make a recommendation based on your individual medical history.
What does renal denervation involve?
Renal denervation is delivered by a cardiology consultant in a cath lab. You’ll be given general anaesthetic. Your cardiology consultant will place a catheter into an artery in the groin, which will be passed up into the artery that supplies blood to the kidney, and positioned near to the nerves. A short and focused release of energy is used to neutralise these nerves. This method is referred to as ablation and is used in other, commonly-performed cardiology procedures. The procedure takes about an hour and most patients will be able to go home the same day. You should be able to resume normal activities after a few days. Your cardiology consultant will continue to monitor you and advise you of any changes to your medication.