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Pioneering hypertension treatment a success in the Caribbean

FOR THE first time in the Caribbean region, surgeons at Health City, Cayman Islands, have successfully performed an operation which relieves serious hypertension.

Senior cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Health City, Cayman Islands, Dr Ravi Kishore, performed the procedure, known as renal denervation, on Caymanian Allan Ebanks, who had been diagnosed with resistant hypertension symptoms that were not being controlled by conventional treatment.

"It was so bad sometimes that I couldn't walk, climb steps, without having to stop," said Ebanks.

According to Kishore, Ebanks' condition was very serious when he arrived at the Joint Commission International-accredited facility.

"Mr Allan Ebanks came to us with very severe hypertension. His blood pressure was not controlled in spite of four different medications at maximal doses," he said.

Kishore believes there is a real need for renal denervation because hypertension has become a significant, and growing, global health issue.

Hypertension is associated with conditions such as heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, acute coronary syndrome, renal failure, and death; and therapeutic solutions are mainly based on lifestyle change and medication.

Among patients with hypertension, some are unable to achieve adequate blood-pressure control, despite the use of multiple medications and change in diet and lifestyle. Refractory hypertensive patients, as they are described, are intensively medicated, and have almost double the cardiovascular mortality.

Kishore reported how he and his colleagues used an innovative approach in their historic operation. "This particular technique allows a true thickness burn and cooling of the sympathetic nerves around the renal arteries. This procedure is performed to prevent an increased excretion of the substances leading to hypertension and forms the basis for successful outcomes."

Ebanks was pleased with the outcome of the minimally invasive surgery.

"My blood pressure was always high and, since my procedure, I no longer have any issues with my pressure. It's been good," he said.

Renal denervation is practiced in 80 countries, but the pioneering surgery is awaiting official Food and Drug Administration approval before it can be performed in the United States.

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