UH | New procedure to reduce hypertension

7:08 PM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND --  For 25 years, Michelle Lewis battled high blood pressure. She takes four medications a day, but frequently they don't work and she becomes disoriented.

"There are times when it does an unexpected spike and I'm not as coherent and there are times I didn't know where I was when I was driving," said Lewis. 

The confusion can last up to four hours. That's why she's one of the ten patients enrolled in a University Hospitals study to see if a procedure might help control her hypertension.

It's called Renal Denervation. A hyperactive sympathetic nerve around the kidneys can cause high blood pressure.

Dr. Sahil Parikh gives each study participant an angiogram to check kidney artery function, but some have an additional procedure where Dr. Parikh uses a catheter that emits radiofrequency waves to remove portions of the sympathetic nerve.

It calms the nervous system down and for about 80 percent of people, lowers blood pressure.

Michelle won't know for six months after she's had the procedure done, but already feels like she's taking control of her health.

"I still hope either way."


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