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Blackrock Clinic News First patients in Ireland undergo new procedure to reduce high blood pressure

First patients in Ireland undergo new procedure to reduce high blood pressure

13th Jul 2011

First patients in Ireland undergo new procedure to reduce high blood pressure

Renal Denervation: significant and sustained reduction in blood pressure in majority of patients with treatment-resistant hypertension.

Hypertension reducing renal denervation was performed today for the first time by a Cardiology team at Blackrock Clinic.  This procedure may produce significant and sustained reductions in blood pressure in the majority of patients who have previously had little success with drug therapies and lifestyle changes.

Renal denervation is the surgical disruption of the sympathetic nerves which affect blood pressure.  An established contributory cause of high blood pressure is the over activity of the nerves leading into and out of the kidneys. Surgically disrupting these sympathetic nerves has been proven to lower blood pressure.

The procedure uses a steerable catheter with an energy electrode tip through which low-powered energy is administered along each renal artery to disrupt nerves.  Access to the renal arteries is made via the femoral artery in the groin.

This is the first time such a procedure has been performed in Ireland and the Symplicity Catheter system was used.   Over 1500 patients have been treated with the Symplicity Catheter System to date and 200 patients have been reported in the Symplicity Clinical Trial programme published in The Lancet in 2009 and 2010.

The study demonstrated that renal denervation can safely be used to substantially reduce blood pressure in treatment resistant hypertensive patients, without serious adverse events.

Bryan Harty, Chief Executive of Blackrock Clinic said: “One in three adults suffer from hypertension.  Renal artery denervation is a relatively low risk procedure which offers a potential solution to patients who have previously found their hypertension difficult to treat”.

He added: “It has been known for some time that disruption of the sympathetic renal nerves could reduce blood pressure, but by using this technique, the Cardiology team at Blackrock Clinic has become the first in Ireland to deliver the benefit in a non-invasive manner”.

The Blackrock Clinic is preparing an application for this technique to be covered by Irish health insurers.   Initially the procedure will cost just under €7,000 for patients who may be interested to pay for themselves, and a payment scheme will be available, enabling patients to spread the cost over a set period.

For further media information please contact:

Catherine Logan: 086 811 4785

catherine@hickeylogan.ie