Galway University Hospitals have become the first hospital in Ireland to introduce a new minimally invasive day case procedure to reduce blood pressure in patients.
This means that patients arrive in the hospital in the morning, have the procedure during the course of the day and are able to return home to sleep in their own bed that night.
Prof. Faisal Sharif, Consultant Cardiologist at GUH said, “We are probably the only hospital anywhere carrying out this procedure as a day case. Certainly, we are the only hospital in the world carrying out the procedure, which is called renal artery denervation, using a product manufactured by Medtronic here in Galway.
“We are using renal artery denervation to help patients with high uncontrolled blood pressure or hypertension which is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, vascular disease and chronic kidney disease.
“Approximately 35 per cent of the adult population in Ireland have hypertension and around one-third of these patients are taking medication, but their blood pressure is still uncontrolled. If we are able to control blood pressure, we are able to reduce the risk of debilitating side-effects. Even a small reduction in blood pressure can lead to a significant reduction of the risk of stroke or heart attack.
“We have participated in a number of clinical trials for renal artery denervation here in GUH that have shown reduction in blood pressure. Based on these results, renal artery denervation is now being carried out as a day case procedure. This has huge benefits for the patients in terms of reduced disruption to their lives, and recovery at home – and we are not dependent on the availability of beds for an overnight stay – which can be a challenge with the current demands on inpatient care.
“At the moment we are carrying out one or two of these procedures every month to help patients control their blood pressure. Patients can contact our team directly to enquire about the procedure by calling Eileen Coen on 086 145 5568. We then ask patients to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours and we do other checks to make sure that they are suitable for the procedure.
“The feedback from our patients who have had renal artery denervation has been incredibly positive with all benefitting from the procedure with improved blood pressure and better future health prospects.”
Ms Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospital, said, “Healthcare innovation is essential to improving patient care and new technology, techniques and procedures that can improve our patients’ quality of life are very important. Introducing renal artery denervation in our hospital as a day case is a very progressive step which allows more patients to be treated without the need for an overnight hospital stay.”