New Surgery Drops Blood Pressure 30%

By Aaron Cowan,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2010 7:13 PM CST Posted Nov 17, 2010 7:13 PM CST
Promoted on Newser Nov 18, 2010 12:08 PM CST
Surgery Lowers Blood Pressure Up to 30%
This illustration provided by Ardian's Symplicity Catheter System shows the Symplicity Catheter System, which delivers low-power RF energy to deactivate the renal sympathetic nerves.   (AP Photo/Ardian's Symplicity Catheter System)

A new surgical technique can lower blood pressure by up to 30% by destroying tiny nerves in the arteries leading to the kidneys. These nerves regulate blood supply, but can be overactive in some patients, dangerously boosting blood pressure. This new procedure inserts a small probe through a catheter in the renal arteries and produces heat sufficient to kill off the nerves.

The surgery can be completed in about 40 to 60 minutes and only requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Only 10% of patients were unresponsive to treatment, according to research being published in The Lancet, compared to almost 50% who are unresponsive to traditional blood pressure medications. Furthermore, meds often only reduce blood pressure by 10%, making the new method almost three times better. Read the full article. (Read more high blood pressure stories.)

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