Renal & Mesenteric Artery Care
If a blockage develops in your intestinal (mesenteric) or kidney (renal) arteries, a UNC REX Healthcare vascular specialist can improve blood flow to your organs and help keep them working well. Ask your doctor whether a minimally invasive angioplasty or an open surgical procedure would benefit you most.
Angioplasty & Stenting
Your physician inserts a tiny, uninflated balloon into your blood vessels and pushes it up to the blocked artery during an angioplasty. At the site of the blockage, the balloon inflates and pushes plaque against the artery wall to make more room for blood to flow. Then, the physician pushes a miniature tube called a stent up to the artery to keep the blood vessel open. The balloon is withdrawn, but the stent remains.
A vascular surgeon makes a small incision next to the blocked artery for an endarterectomy. He or she may insert a shunt—a tiny tube—through which blood flows around the artery during surgery. The surgeon then opens the artery, removes plaque, stitches the blood vessel closed and takes out the shunt.
In bypass surgery, a doctor makes an incision in your abdomen to access your blood vessels. The doctor then takes a healthy vessel and attaches it to the blocked artery to create a detour around the obstruction.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Visit your physician to make sure any medical conditions other than the blocked artery are under control. Ask your doctor which medications you should take on the day of treatment, and tell your care team if you develop a cold, flu or other illness.
The day of the procedure, do not drink anything, including water, after midnight. Take any medications your doctor told you to take.
After an angioplasty or endarterectomy, you may stay in the hospital overnight. Following bypass surgery, you’ll remain in the hospital for several days. Adhere to your care team’s instructions on limiting physical activity after treatment.