Mesenteric ischemia is a decrease in blood flow to abdominal organs causing a decrease in delivery of oxygen to the tissues. These organs include the stomach colon, liver, and small intestines. The lack of blood flow can be acute or a chronic problem over months to years. Patients with chronic mesenteric ischemia tend to have severe weight loss and pain with eating. Chronic mesenteric ischemia is usually from chronic atherosclerosis. An ultrasound is often the first test to determine if disease is present.
Ultrasound is the ideal screening test because it is easy to obtain, cost efficient, not reliant on radiation, and fast. While x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans use radiation to produce an image, the ultrasound scan does not. Instead, an ultrasound uses sound waves through the various parts of the body to determine disease and produce real-time images. Depending on the results, more invasive testing may be warranted.
Chronic mesenteric ischemia requires both the right clinical symptoms and corresponding radiologic findings. Once it is diagnosed, endovascular treatment is often all that is needed to remedy the problem. Acute mesenteric ischemia can be more complicated to treat. After treatment, ultrasound can also be used to track future stenosis of the stent or bypass.
The quality of any ultrasound image depends on multiple factors. These include the skill of the technician, the quality of the ultrasound machine, and the expertise of the physician reading the scan. Mesenteric ultrasounds can be particularly difficult to perform in those patients with a large body habitus. Patients requiring a mesenteric ultrasound should seek a physician with a “RPVI” certification. RPVI stands for registered physician in vascular interpretation. To achieve this certification physicians must provide proof they have had instruction in vascular ultrasound as well as pass an examination showing expertise necessary to interpret vascular ultrasounds.
Dr. Kazil is an exemplary Vascular Surgeon in Bradenton, FL who works at the Florida Surgical Clinic in Manatee County. Dr. Kazil is RPVI certified. She has experience in both reading vascular ultrasounds as well as endovascular and open vascular interventions. Patients looking for a superb Bradenton Vascular Surgeon should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic for the highest quality vascular care available.