Mesenteric Artery Bypass Surgery | Conditions & Tests | MedStar Health

Surgery to create an alternate path for blood to travel to the intestines

Mesenteric artery bypass is used to treat mesenteric ischemia, a condition in which an artery that supplies blood to your intestines is narrowed or blocked. In this procedure, the surgeon will connect a vein from another part of the body or a tube made of synthetic material above and below the blockage, allowing blood to flow around it.

The surgeons in our Vascular and Endovascular Program are experts at handling even the most complex vascular disorders. Patients travel hundreds of miles to receive quality care from our specialists.

What to expect during bypass surgery

You will be asked to not eat or drink before the procedure. Ask your doctor if you should take your regular medications. You will be placed under general anesthesia and may have a breathing tube inserted in your throat.

The surgeon will make an incision in your abdomen to access the mesenteric artery and intestines. After evaluating the intestines, the surgeon may remove tissue that has been damaged due to decreased blood flow. If using a vein from another area of your body—often the thigh—an additional incision will need to be made to retrieve it. The surgeon will then sew the vein or synthetic tube onto the mesenteric artery above and below the blockage.

After the surgery, you will likely need to stay in the hospital for five to seven days, with full recovery taking six to eight weeks.


Mesenteric ischemia 

Mesenteric artery disease is a constriction or blockage of one of the arteries that supply blood to the large and small intestines.


Computerized tomography (CT) scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Our locations

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MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

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