What is an endarterectomy for visceral ischemic syndrome?

An endarterectomy is the open surgical removal of plaque from a blood vessel.

Why is this procedure performed? Why do I need this procedure?

The goal of treatment is to eliminate the build-up of plaque in your arteries.

You may need this procedure if your arteries become too narrowed or blocked from plaque inside the artery walls. If arteries are blocked, blood cannot get through to nourish the tissues of the bowel and gastrointestinal system (intestines).

Acute mesenteric ischemia is a life-threatening condition. In contrast, chronic mesenteric ischemia is characteristically associated with abdominal pain after meals. The onset of pain is usually gradual and progressive. Eventually, this situation results in substantial weight loss and a marked alteration in dietary intake.

Each patient is evaluated, and treatment will be individualized for the patient’s circumstances.

Where is the procedure performed and who performs this procedure?

This procedure is performed in the hospital surgical suite by a vascular surgeon.

What are the risks and potential complications of the procedure?

Your doctor will discuss the specific risks and potential benefits of the recommended procedure with you.

Endarterectomy usually has no complications, but as with any surgery, there is a risk of complications. An unusual complication is the re-blockage of the artery (restenosis) that may occur later, especially if you smoke cigarettes. Another possible complication includes the development of a hernia at the site of the incision. In addition, the return of normal bowel function may be slow, and patients may not be able to eat for several days following the surgery.

Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks, and there may be other possible risks. When you meet with your doctor, please ask questions to make sure you understand the risks of the procedure and why the procedure is recommended.