(WHTM) — Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is an epidemic according to a local cardiologist.

For people who use multiple medications to control high blood pressure, an investigational clinical trial might be for you.

“I started having issues where my blood pressure was rising in my 20s, and by the time I was 30 I was on blood pressure medicine,” said Wendy Lippert of Carlisle.

Over the years, doctors have added more medications, and in some cases increased the strength, trying to balance Lippert’s blood pressure, which sometimes soars to 220/120.

Any reading above 138/80 over is considered abnormal.

“Even with the medications that I am currently taking, I still had issues,” Lippert said.

Lippert is hoping a study at UPMC Central Pennsylvania will change her life.

Decades of research show an overactive nerve network connecting the kidneys to the brain, which runs through the renal artery, can contribute to high blood pressure.

“So we are one of 50 sites in the United States that will be involved in this registry,” Dr. William Bachinsky, a cardiologist with UPMC Central PA.

UPMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute is studying a device that has been tested but now is used for any patient with high blood pressure.

“The Affirm Renal Denervation registry is an investigative clinical trial that’s looking at the renal denervation system called SPRYAL,” said Dr. Bachinsky, who specializes in cardiology, interventional cardiology, and vascular surgery.

Lippert is on the list for the procedure, which takes about an hour and is done through the femoral artery using a catheter.

“We deliver minute areas of energy in the renal artery and that enables us to be able to knock out a percent of the renal nerves,” said Dr. Bachinsky.

Meanwhile, Lippert is looking forward to procedure day.

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“My goal for this, I hope, and I understand this isn’t a cure-all, but if I can get some stability in my blood pressure and get off some of these that will be an answer to prayer,” said Lippert.

Lippert is scheduled for her procedure on March 14, 2023.

If you or a patient you know would like to be considered for the RDN trial, email Joanna Miller, RN at millerjl30@upmc.edu to begin the screening process.