are abnormal blood vessels (veins) that develop in the esophagus. They have abnormally thin walls, and the blood pressure within them is very high. This combination makes esophageal varices very dangerous, because they can burst and cause life-threatening bleeding.
If you have
diabetes, discuss your medications with your doctor.
Arrange for transportation after the procedure.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
Local—You may be given an anesthetic solution to gargle, or your throat may be sprayed with a numbing anesthetic.
You may also be given a sedative to help you relax.
—You may be given medications through an IV. Other medications will be given to treat any pain you feel during the procedure.
—If you are having the procedure due to uncontrolled bleeding you may need to have general anesthesia. You will be asleep during the procedure.
Description of the Procedure
For this procedure, you will lie on your left side. If you are not intubated a mouthpiece will be placed to help keep your mouth open. An assistant will be in the room to monitor your breathing and heartbeat. You may also be given oxygen through your nose. A suction tube will be used to clear the saliva and other fluids from your mouth.
A lubricated endoscope will be placed into your mouth. It will be passed down your throat and into your esophagus. The scope will have a small light and a camera. The doctor will watch the images on a video monitor. Air will be passed through the scope to help view the esophagus. The doctor will be able to locate the enlarged vein.
Instruments will be passed through the scope. The enlarged tissue will be sucked into the device’s chamber. One or more bands will be placed around the tissue to clamp off the blood supply.
How Long Will It Take?
Typically, less than 1 hour
Will It Hurt?
You will usually feel some pressure and discomfort, but not pain, during the procedure. After the procedure, your throat may feel irritated and sore.
At the Care Center
You will be taken to a recovery area until the effects of your medications have worn off. In most cases, you will be observed for about an hour. If you feel well, you can then go home.
After returning home, follow your doctor's instructions.
In the days or weeks after your procedure, the tissue that was banded will slough off.
Follow-up with you doctor as directed. You may need additional procedures.
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications, such as:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Bleeding from the mouth
Nausea and vomiting
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Lightheadedness or weakness
Bloody or dark black stools
Severe abdominal pain
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Baron TH, Wong Kee Song LM. Endoscopic variceal band ligation. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 May;104(5):1083-1085.
Poza Cordon J, Froilan Torres C, et al. Endoscopic management of esophageal varicies. World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2012;4(7):312-322.
Upper GI endoscopy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-endoscopy/Pages/diagnostic-test.aspx. Updated July 2017. Accessed February 12, 2018.
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