It is believed that hypertension is the main risk factor for premature death while a significant number of world's population sufferers from it. While most people know that it can lead to heart attack and stroke, probably not many people are aware of the fact that nerves located in the kidney area have substantial influence in the way blood pressure is determined. Okay that's fine, but the problem is that this nerve system does not function properly in many people.
So here is where the new treatment comes in. This technique deactivates the nerves in the area of the kidney arteries (blood vessels) resulting in lower blood pressure (hypertension) in patients. This method is especially suitable for people who have hypertension but where medications does not give any results in decreasing their high blood pressure levels or at least not enough lowering effect. And it is believed that there are a lot of people belonging to this category.
The treatment technique uses a catheter-based instrument inserted into the renal artery (blood vessel in the groin). The instrument emits controlled high-frequency energy that silences the nerve tissue around the kidneys (radio frequency ablation). It stops nerve signals and therefore terminates the disrupted mechanism for blood pressure. As the nerves in the kidney area are close to the groin, this procedure is considered minimally invasive. Some of the patients who got this treatment could even stop or reduce medication. Experts believe that this new treatment may have a large impact in preventing heart attack and stroke in connection to hypertension.
A bit about the meaning of the blood pressure numbers.
For example a quite normal blood pressure result is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The first (top) number “120” is called systolic blood pressure, which means the maximum pressure in your arm artery at the time when your heart contracts. One can also say: the pressure against the artery walls when the heart beats. The second (lower) number “80” is called diastolic pressure, meaning the resting pressure at the time when your heart fills up again and relaxes between beats.
mm Hg stands for millimeters of mercury, where Hg is the chemical symbol of mercury, being a unit of pressure equal to 0.001316 atmosphere. The Hg number reflects the pressure needed to raise a column of mercury for a number of millimeters inside a cylinder-shaped vial. In this electronic era most of the traditional blood pressure machines have been replaced by up-to-date electronic devices. One speaks of high blood pressure if the reading is 140/90 mm Hg or higher.