Is Surgery an Option to Lowering Blood Pressure?

Q:  Is surgery an option to manage or cure hypertension and do you recommend it?

A:  In a small percentage of cases surgery is used to treat, what is known as, secondary high blood pressure (hypertension).  Only a small percentage of people with high blood pressure have secondary high blood pressure, which is a type of high blood pressure that is related to another medical condition, and often linked to kidney disease.  Surgery is often the best option for this type of high blood pressure and can be curative.

For the majority of people with high blood pressure, there is no clear cause and is usually thought to be linked to genetics, poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity.  This type of high blood pressure is known as primary or essential high blood pressure.  Unlike secondary high blood pressure, surgery is currently not a fully accepted option for people with primary high blood pressure.   This may change in the future.

Recently, doctors have been experimenting with an innovative new surgical option for primary high blood pressure that may help patients.   The procedure, called renal denervation, involves a physician threading a catheter into the arteries leading to the kidney, then delivering pulses of radio-frequency energy that interrupt the signaling in nerves to and from that organ. The damage to the nerves is probably permanent, although no one is certain. The procedure has not proven to return blood pressure to normal levels, but reduces it and allows people on multiple drugs to take less in order to manage their blood pressure.  I believe the studies are very promising, but it is too soon to know how effective this surgery will be in the long run and what the long term side effects might be.  To read a summary of a study involving these surgeries go to The Lancet Journal.

If diagnosed with either secondary or primary hypertension, consider looking into natural ways to manage blood pressure through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes can be beneficial.  Resperate is also a natural option that is FDA cleared to naturally reduce high blood pressure and it is clinically tested.  Regardless, it’s most important to always consult with your doctor first and discuss the various options that exist — both natural, medication and surgery.


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