This is a minimally invasive procedure performed under sedation to treat recalcitrant high blood pressure.
High blood pressure (hypertension) can be a hard condition to manage in a small group of patients. Some of us may not tolerate the blood pressure medication because of their side effects, while others do not achieve the desired control despite taking multiple drugs.
Renal denervation is based on the knowledge that our autonomic nervous system plays an important role in blood pressure regulation. These autonomic nerves fibres are found in abundance around the renal (kidney) arteries. The RDN procedure uses radiofrequency ablation to burn the nerves in the renal arteries. This process reduces in the nerve activity, which decreases blood pressure.
- What is the success rate of such procedure?
- If the right patient is chosen and the procedure carried out satisfactorily, over two thirds of the patients will notice an improvement in their blood pressure readings.
- Can I stop all my medication after RDN?
- I will consider RDN as one of the treatment arms on top of the medical therapy to combat resistant hypertension. It is unusual and ill advised to stop all blood pressure pills. Some patients may find that they can come off one or two drugs after RDN. It is best to work with your specialist in reassessing the medication requirement.
- How long will it last?
- The denervation process is permanent but blood pressure is a complex condition that progress with age. If we are not careful with our salt intake and not exercise regularly, it may get out of control a few years down the line.