What is transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt?

Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt

What are the risks of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)?

Problems from a TIPS procedure may include:

  • Encephalopathy. This happens when the liver is less able to filter toxins from the bloodstream. The toxins build up in the bloodstream and cause problems in your brain.
  • Problems with the stent, such as narrowing (stenosis) or closing (occlusion).
  • Bleeding.
  • Damage to the blood vessels.

What is transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)?

TIPS is a procedure in which a tube called a stent is placed to join two veins in a damaged liver. One vein carries blood to the liver (portal vein) from the legs and belly. Another vein goes from the liver to the heart (hepatic vein).

The scar tissue in a damaged liver can prevent the blood from filtering through the liver. This can cause high blood pressure in the portal vein. TIPS forms a channel that allows some of the blood to bypass the liver. This lowers the pressure and makes veins less likely to rupture and bleed.

What can you expect as you recover from transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)?

You may go home the same day or the next day after a TIPS procedure. Your doctor or nurse checks to make sure that you're not having any problems before you go home.

How is transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) done?

A TIPS procedure may be done by a radiologist, who places a wire-mesh stent through another tube called a catheter. It goes into a vein in the neck. The doctor threads the catheter to the liver and places the stent to join the two veins. The stent is then expanded using a small balloon.

Why is transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) done?

TIPS is used to reduce high blood pressure in the portal vein that carries blood from the intestines to the liver.

TIPS may be used to:

  • Treat fluid buildup that continues to happen even though other treatment has been tried. The buildup often happens in the belly.
  • Treat the bleeding that can happen when veins swell and break open because of the high pressure. This is called variceal bleeding. TIPS may be used when other treatments for the bleeding don't help or while you are waiting for a liver transplant.

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