A procedure to cure high blood pressure has been carried out for the first time in Britain and has been hailed as the most exciting development in the field for 50 years.
The one-hour operation attempts to cure high blood pressure by disrupting signals from the brain that keep it raised.
The results of the operation could allow sufferers to stop taking medication completely and they could even see the benefits within three months of treatment.
The procedure is called renal sympathetic-nerve ablation and involves inserting a wire into a blood vessel close to the kidneys to burn through nerves which carry signals that stimulate high blood pressure.
Anthony Henry, a 68-year-old retired chef from Stratford, east London, became the first person to have the operation.
His blood pressure reportedly came down after just two weeks.
Professor Martin Rothman, who led the surgical team at the London Chest Hospital, told the Daily Telegraph: “This relatively trivial procedure has the potential to make a serious improvement to the quality of life for the patient.
“It is very efficient and can lower the blood pressure enough to reduce stroke mortality by 50 per cent.”
An estimated 15 million people in the UK suffer from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.