In interventional medicine, mesenteric artery angiography and angioplasty are procedures used to diagnose and treat vascular problems of the bowel. These procedures are performed by doctors specialising in interventional radiology and are available to patients suffering from mesenteric vascular disease.

What is Mesenteric Artery Angiography?

Mesenteric artery angiography is an imaging procedure that involves injecting a contrast dye into the superior or inferior mesenteric artery in order to visualize blood vessels. This procedure is useful for detecting mesenteric artery blockage and determining the degree of arterial stenosis.

How is Mesenteric Artery Angiography performed?

Mesenteric artery angiography is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under local anaesthesia. To begin the procedure, the doctor will insert a catheter through the femoral artery, which will be guided through the blood vessels to the mesenteric artery. Once at the mesenteric artery, the doctor will inject a contrast dye through the catheter and use an X-ray machine to visualize the blood vessels.

What is Mesenteric Artery Angioplasty?

Mesenteric artery angioplasty is a procedure used to treat arterial stenosis and restore blood flow to the bowel. This procedure involves using a special balloon to widen the narrowed artery, followed by placement of a stent in the artery to maintain the opening. The stent is a small metal device that helps maintain the artery opening.

Schematic of Large intestine veins supply

How is Mesenteric Artery Angioplasty performed?

Mesenteric artery angioplasty is performed under local anaesthetic. The doctor will insert a catheter through the femoral artery and guide it through the blood vessels to the narrowed mesenteric artery. Once the doctor reaches the affected artery, he will use a special balloon to widen the narrowed artery, followed by placing a stent in the artery to keep the mesenteric artery open.

How does Angiography and Mesenteric Artery Angioplasty help patients with mesenteric vascular disease?

Mesenteric artery angiography helps detect mesenteric artery blockages and determine the degree of arterial stenosis. Based on this information, the doctor can decide whether mesenteric artery angioplasty is necessary to restore blood flow to the bowel. Mesenteric artery angioplasty can be particularly useful for patients suffering from intestinal ischaemia, a condition that can lead to bowel death if left untreated.


After the procedure is completed, the catheters and arterial sheaths are removed and the artery used as an approach is compressed at the puncture site. To achieve compression, a compressive dressing is applied which must be kept on for 24 hours to avoid bleeding.
At the VenArt clinic we currently use a specially designed closure device (SafeGuard) that controls pressure and hemostasis (stops bleeding) after the procedure. It has the advantage that it uses adjustable active pressure and creates greater comfort for patients.
The patient will be instructed to maintain bed rest. In certain situations, there is an indication to mount a haemostatic system at the femoral puncture. This is fitted in the angiography room immediately after the end of the procedure. The AngioSeal is a small collagen plug and is inserted inside the femoral artery. It has the effect of achieving haemostasis in just two hours. The patient is then able to move their leg freely and get out of bed.

General risks associated with Angiography and Angioplasty

  • Allergic reactions to the substances administered;
  • Reactions to anaesthetics;
  • Slight bleeding from vascular puncture;
  • Arteriovenous fistulae at vascular puncture site;
  • Fever;
  • Headache, migraine;
  • Infection;
  • Gas embolism;
  • Injury to the artery wall through which the approach is made;
  • Rupture or dissection of the aorta;
  • In-stent restenosis;
  • Stent migration;
  • Haematoma at the puncture site.

What happens after the procedure?

  1. You will drink at least 2 liters of water, to remove the contrast substance;
  2. You will have a follow-up electrocardiogram;
  3. The dressing at the puncture site is removed after 12-24 hours;
  4. You will have blood tests.

What should you do after you leave the hospital?

If you have undergone an angioplasty procedure, it is important that you return for check-ups as recommended by your cardiologist and follow the treatment indicated by your cardiologist. You can return to work immediately. Don’t neglect moderate physical exercise, follow a balanced lifestyle and have regular blood tests.

For more information or if you would like a consultation, do not hesitate to contact us.