Options For Treating Mesenteric Ischemia

Embolectomy

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An embolectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of a particular type of blockage called an embolism. This surgical procedure may be performed to treat mesenteric ischemia caused by an embolism. Obstructions an embolectomy removes from the mesenteric arteries include cholesterol, fat, septic, tissue, and foreign body embolisms. The most common embolism that causes mesenteric ischemia is a cholesterol embolism. When the epithelium or arterial lining has been damaged as a result of high blood pressure or by other factors, a material called cholesterol can penetrate the endothelium. When cholesterol enters an artery, an immune system response is triggered. The combination of cholesterol, cellular wastes, and immune factors can calcify to the walls of the arteries. This calcification forms what is known as atherosclerotic plaque. Pieces of this plaque sometimes become detached from the walls of the arteries and flow freely throughout the circulatory system. Acute mesenteric ischemia occurs when a piece of plaque becomes lodged in one of the mesenteric arteries and stops the flow of blood. An embolectomy can be performed with a traditional open incision, or through the use of a catheter to manually remove an embolism.

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