Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) – To Reduce High Blood Pressure in the Veins of the Liver

A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is an artificial channel in the liver, used to create new connections between two blood vessels in your liver.

The main aim of TIPS placement is to divert portal blood flow into the hepatic vein, so as to reduce the pressure gradient between portal and systemic circulations. This procedure is used to treat the complications of portal hypertension, including variceal bleeding, portal gastropathy, ascites and hydrothorax.

In this procedure, interventional radiologists use image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases. This procedure is used to make a tunnel through the liver to connect portal vein to the hepatic vein. A small, tubular metal device commonly called a stent is placed in the middle of the liver to create an artificial channel. This channel would bypass the liver entirely thereby reducing high blood pressure in the portal vein.

A specially trained interventional radiologist performs this image guided procedure. The radiologist inserts a catheter through the skin into a vein in your neck. On the end of the catheter is a balloon that is blown up to place the stent.The physician guides the catheter toward the liver into one of the hepatic veins. Before the placement of the TIPS stent, a contrast material will be injected in the hepatic vein to outline the portal venous system. The stent connects the portal vein to one of the hepatic veins. This artificial channel will allow blood to flow better and will ease pressure on the veins of the stomach, esophagus, intestines, and liver.

This entire procedure is usually completed with an hour.

 


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