(PartiallyPolitics.com) – The FDA has recently approved a groundbreaking procedure for people with treatment-resistant hypertension, offering a new solution for those who have found little relief from traditional medications.
This minimally invasive technique, pioneered by Dr. Samin Sharma, an interventional cardiologist at the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Clinical Institute in New York City, involves targeting nerves located near the kidneys. Dr. Sharma, who performed the procedure on a patient earlier this month, described it as a promising option for those struggling with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
The procedure uses a special device to ablate the overstimulated sympathetic nerves near the kidneys. This approach has shown potential in controlling blood pressure for up to five years, thereby reducing the risk of critical health events such as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.
Two devices, developed by Medtronic and Recor Medical, have been cleared by the FDA for this purpose. They are intended to be used alongside lifestyle modifications and medications for patients who have not achieved adequate blood pressure control.
The treatment is specifically designed for patients without blockages in their kidney arteries. During the procedure, which lasts about an hour, a thin tube is inserted into the renal artery. This tube emits sound waves or radiofrequency energy, effectively ablating the targeted nerves.
One of the first patients to undergo this treatment was Adit Dhawan, a 44-year-old Long Island resident, who had been battling high blood pressure since his teenage years. Despite various medications and a healthy lifestyle, his blood pressure remained high. Following the procedure, Dhawan experienced only mild discomfort and has since seen a noticeable improvement in his blood pressure levels.
While the procedure offers hope, it is not without risks. One potential concern is the possibility of damaging an artery, though such cases are rare.
The broader medical community has expressed optimism about this new treatment. Experts agree that it represents a significant advancement in the management of hypertension, a condition that affects nearly half of the adult population in the U.S. and was a contributing factor in over 690,000 deaths in 2021.
In summary, this FDA-approved procedure provides a new avenue for patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, marking a significant step forward in the fight against this prevalent health issue.
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