Mesenteric Artery Ischemia
For some patients with mesenteric artery ischemia, minimally invasive surgery is not an option. But many training programs across the country are switching to catheter-based work.
Our physicians have the experience to do both catheter procedures and open bypass surgery. In fact, the Wake Forest Baptist Health Vascular Center is a nationwide referral center for complex mesenteric and renal surgeries.
Surgical Treatment Options for Mesenteric Artery Ischemia
Surgery for mesenteric artery ischemia re-opens your artery to restore blood flow to your intestine. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may perform surgery as an emergency or scheduled procedure. This surgery can be performed two ways:
Bypass surgery: Your doctor re-routes blood around the blocked section of your artery in one of two ways. He can either use one of your veins or plastic tubing to "bypass" the blockage. This procedure is an open surgery and requires an incision in your abdomen.
Angioplasty: Your doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter through an artery in your groin and, with the help of X-ray imaging, moves the catheter into the mesenteric arteries. The catheter helps your doctor position a tiny balloon in the artery. When inflated, it widens the artery, improving blood flow. Your doctor may also insert a stent, or metal tube, in the artery to provide extra support. As a catheter-based technique, this procedure only requires a tiny incision in your groin.
Only you and your doctor can decide which type of surgery is right for you. All of our patients receive pre-operative counseling to help them understand the risks and benefits of both procedures.
Managing Mesenteric Artery Ischemia
At the Vascular Center, we believe it's just as important to manage your disease as it is to treat it. When your mesenteric artery ischemia is severe, there are no medical, or non-surgical, options available. But when it's mild or asymptomatic, there is a role for medical management.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following:
- Controlling your cholesterol
- Lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking or losing weight
- Regular follow-up care to monitor your condition