When multiple medications don’t lower blood pressure, radio waves blasted into your body may be the answer.
New research shows people who had this procedure maintained lower blood pressure for up to a year. The procedure is called renal denervation and works like this: Radio waves are sent through a thin tube, or catheter, into nerve tissue around the kidney arteries. The radio waves burn away this tissue, which deadens the nerves scientists think are responsible for raising blood pressure.
Patients in the study experienced a drop in systolic blood pressure with no kidney damage or ill-effects from the procedure.
More than 78 million adults in the United States have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg. About 9 percent of those people have resistant hypertension – meaning they take four or more medications to control their blood pressure, or blood pressure is still higher than 140/90 while taking three different blood pressure medicines.
The findings could have significant public health implications in the treatment of resistant hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, the researchers said.