Mesenteric Artery Disease

Mesenteric ischemia is a chronic condition caused by poor blood supply to your intestines. It results from narrowing in one or more of the arteries supplying blood to your intestines (visceral arteries). It also can occur suddenly as a result of a blood clot severely restricting blood flow (acute mesenteric ischemia). Lack of oxygen-rich blood can permanently damage your intestines. You may experience sudden abdominal pain and, less often, bloody stools. This situation requires immediate medical care.

Chronic mesenteric ischemia occurs gradually as the main visceral arteries narrow. You may develop pain after eating, lose weight or develop a fear of eating caused by fear of stomach pain.

Once it is determined that your stomach pain is caused by blocked intestinal arteries, you may need surgery. Dr. Srujal Shah performs conventional and minimally invasive procedures to improve blood flow to your intestines. Surgical options include:


Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that opens narrowed arteries. During an angioplasty, your surgeon inserts a long, flexible tube (catheter) that has a balloon on its tip. The surgeon usually places a small wire tube (stent) in your artery to keep it open. If you have a blood clot, your doctor may remove it during your angiogram.


A bypass creates an alternate route for blood to flow around the narrowed or blocked artery. Your surgeon sews a substitute blood vessel (graft) to a main artery to restore blood flow.


In an endarterectomy, your doctor makes an incision in the large blood vessel that branches off your heart (aorta) to reach the mesenteric arteries and remove fat and cholesterol buildup (plaques) or the blood clot blocking the artery.

We treat people who are at high risk for complications during open surgery, such as older people, using minimally invasive surgery.