What is Prognosis of Esophageal Varices?

Q:
What is prognosis of esophageal varices?

A:
Esophageal varices are swollen veins in the lining of the lower esophagus near the stomach. This condition usually occurs in people with liver disease. Because their blood flow through the liver slows, the pressure in the portal vein will go up. Consequently, large volumes of blood will be pushed into surrounding blood vessels, including those smaller ones. Once the pressure is too high, the vessels will begin to bleed.

Treatment:

The following measures are commonly used to prevent bleeding:

  • Lowering portal vein pressure
  • Using elastic bands on varices
  • Elastic band ligation
  • Slow blood flow to the portal vein
  • Diverting blood flow from the portal vein
  • Blood transfusion
  • Preventing infection
  • Liver transplant

Prognosis:

Although the treatments above can prevent bleeding effectively, almost half of people are at risk of more bleeding during next one to two years. Therefore, patients must pay enough attention to their condition even after the treatment. Endoscopic and drug treatments may be helpful. The following tips should also be followed to avoid recurrence:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use chemicals sparingly
  • Reduce your risk of hepatitis

If you have any questions, please contact your doctor.

Keywords: esophageal varices prognosis; treatment; prognosis

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