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Treatment will give Martin a better life

Pictured at Sorby Renal Wing,Kidney Institute,Northern General Hospital,is Patient Martin Barnsley(left) with Dr William McKane(centre) and Professor Peter Gaines

Pictured at Sorby Renal Wing,Kidney Institute,Northern General Hospital,is Patient Martin Barnsley(left) with Dr William McKane(centre) and Professor Peter Gaines

  • by Richard Blackledge
 

A former teacher is believed to be one of the first hospital patients of his kind to undergo a pioneering treatment in Sheffield to lower his blood pressure.

Martin Barnsley, aged 64, was first diagnosed with high blood pressure 26 years ago, but struggled to control the condition, taking eight medications every day to reduce the risk of life-threatening strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.

Now Martin, who lives near Barnsley town centre, is among the first people in the world with a single kidney to benefit from an advanced procedure offered to certain patients with drug-resistant high blood pressure.

The treatment – known as renal denervation therapy – involves nerves around the blood vessels leading into the kidneys being destroyed using radio waves, avoiding the need for surgery.

Most patients’ blood pressure drops significantly after the therapy, and in Martin’s case the initial reduction has been about 20 per cent.

The treatment was carried out at the Northern General Hospital in Fir Vale as part of a five-year research study.

A generator is used to produce radio frequency energy, which is passed into the arteries using a catheter inserted in the groin.

Martin, a former deputy head who now runs his own psychotherapy practice, said he had a kidney removed while fighting kidney cancer three years ago.

“Treatments like this give you a lot of optimism,” he said.

“I feel really lucky and the care has been amazing.”

Around 200,000 people in the UK suffer with drug-resistant high blood pressure, and are 16 times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

 

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