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Mesentric Ischemia - Why Vascular Surgery Is The Answer?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Pravin Narkhede 90% (119 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Peripheral Vascular Surgery, DNB - General Surgery, MNAMS
Vascular Surgeon, Nashik  •  13 years experience
Mesentric Ischemia - Why Vascular Surgery Is The Answer?

Mesenteric ischemia is the reduction of blood flow volume to important organs like the spleen and the intestines. It generally occurs in people above 60 years of age, and smokers and people with high cholesterol levels are more likely to be affected by it than others. The main cause of this disease is atherosclerosis, which involves deposition of fatty plaque deposits on the arterial walls, reducing blood flow to the heart.

There are two forms of this disease - acute, implying sudden and severe, and chronic, implying a slow-building but equally debilitating condition.

Symptoms: How do you know if you have mesenteric ischemia?

Following are the Signs You Should Look out For:

• Flatulence.
• Difficulty in, and reduced volume of, bowel movement, i.e. constipation
• Nauseous feelings.
• Sometimes, diarrhoea is also a symptom.
• Loss of weight.

Diagnostic tests: how can you be sure you have the disease?

Following are the Popular Methods For Diagnosing Mesenteric Ischemia:

• Angiograms: angiograms are basically x-rays of your blood vessels’ interiors. They help in detection of depositions or impairment of functioning and can help in additional treatments also like commencing the use of catheters.
• Doppler ultrasound: these use waves to detect the structure and current health of blood vessels, by making the waves hit and radiate off them. They can also detect if vessels are damaged, or if adequate blood is not passing through them.

Why is vascular surgery your best option for treatment?

1. Bypass surgery: the biggest benefit provided by this surgery is that the damaged part of the blood vessel is altogether discarded and a new vessel “bypasses” it to provide blood to the requisite organs. This ensures that functioning never stops due to a damaged body part coming in the way. The new vessel may come from another body part or may be artificial.

2. Stents and angioplasty: in this surgery, the benefit provided is that the blocked part of the vessel is repaired by inserting a balloon to clear the block, hence restoring normalcy in the body. With the help of a net-like stent, the vessel is kept dilated.

Mesenteric artery disease can be painful and even lethal if not checked in proper time. Therefore, you should look out carefully for the symptoms especially if you’re above 60. If you are diagnosed, you should immediately go for vascular surgery as the cure.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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