Orlando Health Leads Central Florida In Tackling Hypertension With Innovative Procedure

Amid Stroke Awareness Month, Orlando Health highlights High Blood Pressure study

Orlando, FL (May 23, 2024) – May is Stroke Awareness Month. In addition to educating people on stroke signs to look out for, Orlando Health is also highlighting its leading-edge High Blood Pressure Clinical Study that offers enrolled patients a new and innovative treatment option for hypertension.

Hypertension, or uncontrolled high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. have hypertension. Meanwhile, existing treatment options like blood pressure medication, altering one’s diet and exercise routine do not work for everyone. So what choice does that leave patients who are still suffering from hypertension? A new option: Renal denervation.

Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute is leading Central Florida with the rollout of a first-of-its-kind procedure to treat hypertension called renal denervation. The minimally invasive procedure uses a catheter and radio frequency energy to target and disrupt the nerves near the kidneys that can cause hypertension (see video below). Orlando Health Heart and Vascular Institute is the first in Central Florida to perform this groundbreaking procedure. To date, Orlando Health interventional cardiologist Dr. Farhan Khawaja has treated multiple patients suffering from high blood pressure with renal denervation.

“Renal denervation is a gamechanger for people suffering from hypertension. It expands the treatment field for folks who have found that medication and lifestyle changes alone have not been enough,” said Dr. Farhan Khawaja. “High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death. Stroke Awareness Month serves as a crucial reminder to prioritize your heart health. Orlando Health is excited to lead Central Florida in tackling hypertension.”

Orlando Health began offering renal denervation to patients enrolled through the SPYRAL AFFIRM Clinical Study using the Medtronic Symplicity blood pressure procedure last fall. The procedure received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in November 2023. Orlando Health continues to enroll patients in this study.

For an animation of this procedure, click here for handout video provided Medtronic.


About Orlando Health

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $9.6 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for Central Florida’s only pediatric and adult Level I Trauma program as well as the only state- accredited Level II Adult Trauma Center in Pinellas County. It is the home of one of the

nation’s largest neonatal intensive care units, one of the only systems in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows.

The 3,487-bed system includes 17 hospitals, 10 free-standing emergency rooms and nine Hospital Care at Home programs. An additional four hospitals and six free-standing emergency rooms are coming soon. The system also includes 10 specialty institutes, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility under the management of Acadia Healthcare, and more than 375 outpatient facilities that include physician clinics, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. More than 4,950 physicians, representing more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 29,000 team members and more than 1,500 physicians.

In FY 23, Orlando Health cared for 197,000 inpatients and 6.6 million outpatients. The healthcare system provided nearly $1.3 billion in total impact to the communities it serves in the form of community benefit programs and services, Medicare shortfalls, bad debt, community-building activities and capital investments in FY 22, the most recent period for which this information is available.

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