Renal and Mesenteric Occlusive Disease
Renal and mesenteric occlusive disease is the buildup of plaque in arteries leading to the kidneys and/or the intestines. Most often, patients with such blockages do not experience symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include high blood pressure that is difficult to treat with routine medications, or abdominal pain that occurs with eating.
Angioplasty and Stenting
Surgeons perform angioplasty by inserting a catheter with a balloon on the end into the appropriate artery. The cylindrical-shaped balloon is inflated inside the artery at the point where plaque has narrowed the artery opening, and slowed blood flow. After a few minutes, the balloon is deflated and the plaque inside the artery is left flattened. As a result, the artery opening is enlarged and blood flows more freely. Sometimes surgeons also insert a stent during this procedure.
A stent is a small tube made of metal mesh. It can be placed onto the tip of the balloon and expands when the balloon is inflated. After the catheter and balloon are removed, the stent remains inside the artery to hold it open.
In a bypass operation, surgeons use a portion of a vein or artery from another part of the body to create a detour around a section of artery which has a plaque blockage inside it. The new portion of vein is grafted onto the partially-blocked vein or artery and blood flows through the new portion.
Last reviewed by: Robert J. Feezor, M.D., F.A.C.S.; 9/25/11