Superior rectal artery

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on March 24, 2015

The superior rectal artery, also known as the superior hemorrhoidal artery, is located in the anus. It is a continuation of the inferior mesenteric artery.

The superior rectal artery divides into two arteries with one running on each side of the anus. These are known as the left superior rectal artery and the right superior rectal artery. Approximately 10 cm above the anus, these two arteries branch off into several smaller branches.

A frequently occurring medical condition associated with the superior rectal artery and its branches is hemorrhoids. When a portion of the superior rectal artery becomes swollen or inflamed due to pressure, a hemorrhoid may result. Anal pain, itching or bleeding are common signs of a hemorrhoid affecting the superior rectal artery.

In severe cases of hemorrhoids of the superior rectal artery, a blood clot may form. If this occurs, surgical removal of the hemorrhoid may be necessary to prevent the tissues surrounding the hemorrhoid from dying.

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