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Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute

Cardiovascular Doctors & Interventional Cardiologists located in Tampa, FL & Wesley Chapel, FL

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a prevalent condition that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. Renal denervation is an innovative treatment option for patients with resistant hypertension. This guide aims to help you understand hypertension, its implications, and how renal denervation can be an effective treatment.


Hypertension Q & A

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a condition where the force of the blood against the artery walls is consistently too high. It is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it typically has no symptoms until significant damage has occurred. Understanding and managing hypertension is crucial to maintaining overall health.

Causes and Risk Factors of Hypertension

Hypertension can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics: Family history of high blood pressure.
  • Age: Risk increases with age.
  • Lifestyle: Poor diet, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Medical Conditions: Chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Hypertension

Hypertension is often asymptomatic, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds
  • Flushing
  • Dizziness

These symptoms usually appear once blood pressure has reached dangerously high levels.

Complications of Untreated Hypertension

If left untreated, hypertension can lead to:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss
  • Aneurysm

Diagnosing Hypertension

Hypertension is diagnosed using a blood pressure cuff to measure the systolic and diastolic pressures. A reading of 130/80 mmHg or higher is considered hypertensive.

Treatment Options for Hypertension

Treatment typically involves lifestyle changes and medications:

  • Lifestyle Changes: Healthy diet, regular exercise, weight management, and reducing salt intake.
  • Medications: Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed.

What is Renal Denervation?

Renal denervation is a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat resistant hypertension—high blood pressure that does not respond adequately to standard treatments. It targets the nerves in the renal arteries that contribute to high blood pressure.

How Does Renal Denervation Work?

During the procedure:

  1. Catheter Insertion: A catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin and guided to the renal arteries.
  2. Energy Delivery: Radiofrequency or ultrasound energy is delivered to the nerves surrounding the renal arteries.
  3. Nerve Disruption: This energy disrupts the nerve signals that contribute to high blood pressure.

Benefits of Renal Denervation

  • Effectiveness: Studies have shown significant blood pressure reduction in many patients.
  • Minimally Invasive: The procedure is done through small incisions, leading to quicker recovery.
  • Long-Term Relief: Provides sustained blood pressure reduction.

Who is a Candidate for Renal Denervation?

Renal denervation is typically considered for patients who:

  • Have resistant hypertension that does not respond to at least three different antihypertensive medications, including a diuretic.
  • Are at high risk of hypertension-related complications.

Preparing for Renal Denervation

Before the procedure, your healthcare provider will:

  • Conduct a thorough medical evaluation.
  • Perform imaging tests to assess the renal arteries.
  • Review your current medications and medical history.

Aftercare and Recovery

Post-procedure care includes:

  • Monitoring: Regular follow-ups to monitor blood pressure and overall health.
  • Medication: Continuing prescribed antihypertensive medications unless advised otherwise.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining healthy lifestyle habits to support the effectiveness of the treatment.

Potential Risks and Complications

While renal denervation is generally safe, potential risks include:

  • Bleeding at the catheter insertion site.
  • Kidney damage (though rare).
  • Temporary pain or discomfort.


Hypertension is a serious but manageable condition. For patients with resistant hypertension, renal denervation offers a promising treatment option. Understanding your condition and the available treatments is the first step toward better health. Always consult your healthcare provider to discuss your options and determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs. If you have any concerns or questions about hypertension or renal denervation, don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for further assistance.