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Visceral Artery Disease (Mesenteric Ischemia)

The visceral artery supplies blood to the intestines, liver and spleen. This artery, like others, can be damaged by atherosclerosis. VAD can reduce or cut off the blood supply to these areas. Most commonly, it causes mesenteric ischemia or blood-flow problems with the intestines. This can cause pain and weight loss. If the blood supply is completely caught off, portions of the intestines can die, which can be life threatening.

Visceral artery disease symptoms

This disease often progresses slowly. The ongoing symptoms are:

  • Stomach pain after eating
  • Weight loss
  • Intestinal bleeding

Visceral artery disease risks

You are at greater risk for this disease if you have atherosclerosis – when the blood vessels become narrowed or clogged by fatty or cholesterol deposits called plaque. Other risk factors:

  • Age and gender: Men are at higher risk before age 75, and women are at higher risk after 75
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of this problem
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Tobacco use: Smoking increases your risk dramatically
  • Race or ethnicity: African American and Hispanic people are at greater risk

Visceral artery disease treatment

Doctors at The University of Kansas Hospital use the most current techniques to guide treatment of vascular disease. Review the treatment options.