Groundbreaking op in Portsmouth to help lower blood pressure

AN INNOVATIVE keyhole procedure which helps lower blood pressure has been performed at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham for the first time.

As part of a clinical trial, doctors at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust carried out a minimally invasive procedure on three patients with high blood pressure.

Using the ‘Medtronic Symplicity™ blood pressure procedure’ (also known as Renal Denervation), doctors insert a catheter into a patient’s leg which then delivers radio-frequency energy to specific nerves near the kidneys, which can become overactive causing high blood pressure.

The procedure works by delivering energy to the overactive nerves, which then decreases their activity. It is used in patients with difficult to control high blood pressure or where patients can’t tolerate tablets.

Christina Holland, 66, from Stamshaw, Portsmouth, was one of the first patients to receive the treatment at the QA.

She has suffered with high blood pressure for over two years leading to reoccurring heart palpitations and back pain. Christina is on various medications for other conditions and conventional blood pressure tablets and lifestyle changes were not lowering her blood pressure.


The grandmother of 15 said: “I was referred to the High Blood Pressure Clinic at QA Hospital and the doctor explained this new procedure and thought I would be right for this. I must admit I was very scared going in for the procedure, but the nurses and doctors were so friendly and put me at ease.

“I was only in for the day and a week later my blood pressure has gone down significantly. I would highly recommend to those people who may be suffering right now with high blood pressure and who could be suitable for this to ask their doctors about it.”

And Dr Peter Haworth, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: “We’re very excited to have completed the first renal denervation procedures at QA Hospital – it’s been in the planning for the last four years and we believe this will have a huge impact on the quality of life for our patients suffering from high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure is a leading preventable cause of heart attack, stroke, kidney failures and other serious conditions. But sometimes medication and lifestyle changes are not always enough to control it. Also, some patients have side effects from conventional medicines used to treat high blood pressure.

“For those who are unable to control their blood pressure through lifestyle changes or medication alone, the procedure may be beneficial.”

The one-hour procedure is currently licensed for use in more than 60 countries and is now undergoing clinical trials in England.