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Flagstaff Company Explores Microwave Energy As Treatment For High Blood Pressure

high blood pressure
(Photo by graphicstock.com)
Problematic nerves that can cause high blood pressure in some patients.

A company in Flagstaff is working on a medical device to treat resistant high blood pressure with microwave energy. It targets overactive nerves.

The device is inserted through a catheter to the kidney. It heats and kills problematic nerves that can cause high blood pressure in some patients.

Dan Kasprzyk is the founder and president of Symple Surgical, which is developing the device.

“Our goal is to make this a mainstream procedure that could be done anywhere in the world for patients that are struggling with either resistant hypertension or just a lifelong struggle with high blood pressure,” Kasprzyk said.

About one in 10 people with high blood pressure do not respond to pharmaceutical treatment. The new procedure could be an alternative to medication.

Kaspryzk said the research is still in the early stages of testing.

At least two other companies have tried a similar approach using radio waves. Those devices have received mixed results in clinical trials, but they’re in use in some countries outside the U.S.  

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Melissa grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona and an M.FA. in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University.