A device known as Simplicity Three may eliminate the need for costly high blood pressure medications.
Carolyn Vitta struggled with high blood pressure for years, which brought her physical and financial stress.
“I’ve been fighting it for 17 years, so the fight was starting to leave me,” she said. “We were disgusted because I wasn’t getting any better and I was spending thousands on medications.”
Late last year, her husband found out about Simplicity Three, a device under trial at Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute. Vitta qualified as a user.
“We’re talking about patients who not only have high blood pressure but who can’t be well controlled on medical therapy. This represents about 12 percent of all patients with hypertension,” said Dr. Barry Katzen.
The study of the device involved a procedure where a small probe is used to disrupt the nerves outside the renal artery. These nerves interact with the cardiovascular system, and disrupting them can lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure, according to doctors.
“The results are still in progress, so we don't know the final results," said Katzen. "We do know from the earlier trials that this technology seems to be able to produce sustainable reduction of blood pressure on the order of 20 to 30 milliliters of systolic pressure."
Katzen explained that a reduction as little as ten milliliters of pressure can increase life expectancy between five to ten years.
Vitta said she didn’t notice immediate results but is enjoying every bit of her improving condition.
“Little by little I eased into it. I’d say, 'Gee it wasn’t so bad today,'” she said.
Some research says the procedure may also be beneficial to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea.