Esophageal Varices Treatment

Can this condition be treated? What Esophageal Varices treatment options are available? Learn more below about the current treatments available to patients.


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  • Screening
  • Medications
  • Prevention
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  • Care Guide
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  • Resource Guide

How to Treat Esophageal Varices

Several treatments can help lower the risk of vessel rupture or to stop bleeding if it starts. Treatment options include the following:

Endoscopic Band Ligation

During endoscopy, a rubber band is tied around the bulging veins to prevent ruptures or stop bleeding. This is considered the first line treatment.

Balloon Tamponade

This procedure involves the passage of a balloon through the nose to help compress the bleeding varices.


Drugs intended to slow bleeding are injected into the bleeding vein and sometimes into the surrounding area. The drugs cause clots to form and harden the vein to stop bleeding.

Drug Therapy

Drugs used to relieve blood pressure include terlipressin, vasopressin, nitroglycerin, octreotide, and somatostatin.

Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunting (TIPS)

TIPS involves threading a catheter from a neck vein to the liver. A stent, a small tube designed to keep veins open, is bound to the catheter and inserted into the liver to increase blood flow through the portal vein and relieve blood pressure in the esophageal varices. This procedure can control bleeding in over 90% of cases.

Distal Splenorenal Shunt (DSRS)

A surgical procedure connecting the main vein in the spleen to the left kidney vein. The procedure is done to lower blood pressure in the swollen vessels and limit bleeding.

Esophageal Transection

This procedure is reserved for those patients who fail to respond to either drug or endoscopic treatment and are not considered good candidates for a shunting procedure.

Liver Transplant

Liver transplantation is the only way to completely cure esophageal varices.

If you are diagnosed with esophageal varices, follow your doctor's instructions.


Learn what Esophageal Varices is
What It Is
Learn the basics of this condition. Find out what you're dealing with.
Esophageal Varices Causes
What causes Esophageal Varices? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Esophageal Varices Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Are you at risk of getting Esophageal Varices? Inside you'll find known risk factors for the condition.
Esophageal Varices Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Esophageal Varices Symptoms
What are the Esophageal Varices symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Esophageal Varices Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

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Screening for Esophageal Varices
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Esophageal Varices.
Esophageal Varices Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Esophageal Varices Prevention
How can you prevent Esophageal Varices? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Esophageal Varices Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Esophageal Varices treatment options are available?
Esophageal Varices Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Esophageal Varices Doctors
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Do you need to contact a doctor about Esophageal Varices? Select a location to find a specialist in your area.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO