Atherosclerosis can occur in just about any artery in the body. This includes the arteries that supply blood to the digestive organs (the ‘gut’). There arteries are referred to as mesenteric arteries.
When PAD affects the mesenteric arteries, it produces a syndrome of severe abdominal pain called mesenteric ischemia. Mesenteric ischemia will cause severe pain in the abdomen, notably after eating meals. Often patients will lose tremendous weight as they associate eating with pain, and therefore will actually stop eating. There is usally a lag to make this diagnosis as most will undergo an extensive GI evaluation before one’s physicians will evaluate for mesenteric ischemia.
When it is diagnosed, these mesenteric arteries can be treated with catheters via the groin in the cardiac catheterization lab. Typically these lesions are treated with angioplasty and stenting and can be very gratifying to treat as patients will regain the ability to enjoy eating without pain.
The vascular specialists at our Boynton Beach cardiovascular center have extensive experience performing mesenteric angioplasty and stenting. As a patient at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates you will benefit from their expertise and patient-focused approach to PAD treatment.