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Renal and Mesenteric Artery Disease

Most people have heard of arterial conditions or blockages of the lower legs, the heart and the brain. However, arterial disease can also affect the circulation to your digestive tract. When there is compromised arterial supply to your digestive tracts it causes symptoms.


  • The most common symptoms are abdominal pain with weight loss and food fear.
  • Pain usually occurs in the mid abdominal area that occurs about 10-15 minutes after the ingestion of food. The pain can be sharp, crampy, or a dull ache.
  • Due to this onset of pain, people adjust their diet to not eat certain foods or to eat less food to avoid experiencing this discomfort. This is “food fear”
  • Additional symptoms can include postprandial nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea and unintentional weight loss.


  • When these arteries become obstructed, they can cause symptoms. Eating food requires an increase in the blood supplied to the organs in the abdomen to digest food. The blockages prevent the increase in blood and that in turn, causes the symptoms.
  • This pain does not occur for people in between meals. Food is the precipitating factor.

There are three important arteries supplying the intestine.

Diagnostic Evaluation

  • A vascular specialist will see you in the office at which time a thorough history and physical exam will be performed.
  • Imaging will be reviewed.
  • If no imaging has been done, the first step is a duplex ultrasound that is done in our office.
  • In many cases, a special


  • If it is determined after a thorough work up that you do have chronic mesenteric ischemia, then an angiogram will be done.
  • This will occur in our Office Based Labs (OBL)
  • At the time, high detailed imaging will be done of the arteries and at that time a stent can be placed to relieve the obstruction or narrowed artery.

Before and after

Before and After Mesenteric Stent


  • If the stent is placed, most people feel relief immediately. People are usually sent home from our office an hour after the procedure and can resume eating a normal meal.
  • Unfortunately, there are cases where a stent cannot be placed. In those cases, a discussion with your surgeon will occur to plan a possible surgery to do a bypass in the abdomen to relieve the symptoms.


At the Vascular Care group, our board certified vascular surgeons are exceptionally well trained in identifying chronic mesenteric ischemia and have the skills to treat it effectively; most often in our office as an outpatient procedure.