Visceral Artery Disease
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 cut off, portions of the intestines can die, which can be life threatening.
The disease often progresses slowly. The ongoing symptoms are:
- Stomach pain after eating
- Weight loss
- Intestinal bleeding
You are at greater risk for the 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
- Family history of this problem
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use: Smoking dramatically increases your risk
- Race or ethnicity: African American and Hispanic people are at greater risk
Physicians at The University of Kansas Health System use the most advanced and latest techniques to guide treatment of vascular disease. Review the treatment options.