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Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS)

Surgery Overview

TIPS is a procedure in which a stent is placed to join two veins in a damaged liver. One vein carries blood to the liver (portal vein). The other vein goes from the liver to the heart (hepatic vein). TIPS forms a channel that allows some of the blood to bypass the liver.

What To Expect

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.

Why It Is 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.

Risks

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.

Related Information

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