Schedule an initial consultation at one of these locations:

Utah Vascular Clinic

801.281.0027

650 East 4500 South, Suite 100
Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Ogden Regional Medical Center

801.479.2450

5475 South 500 East
Washington Terrace, UT 84405

Services

Interventional Procedures

TIPS

What is a TIPS?

TIPS stands for Transjugular Intrahepatic PortoSystemic Shunt.

Transjugular:
Intrahepatic:
Portosystemic:
Shunt:

across the jugular vein
within the liver
from the portal vein to the general circulation
a channel for blood to flow

What is a TIPS procedure?

A TIPS procedure creates a new channel to route blood flow through a damaged liver and into the main blood vessels that lead blood back to the heart. During a TIPS an interventional radiologist places a tube (stent) into your liver. The stent lets your blood flow easily from the inflow (portal) vein to the outflow (hepatic) vein of your liver. You may need this procedure if you have severe liver problems. It is performed almost always after evaluation by a team of advanced liver specialists and interventional radiologists

This procedure is performed with the patient deeply sedated through an 1/8 inch long incision through the a small vein just over the collar bone, the internal jugular vein. It takes 1-2 hours and usually requires one night stay in the hospital. Recovery is immediate and normal activity can resume the next day.

Why would someone need a TIPS and what are its benefits?

Most of the blood flowing through the liver comes from the portal vein. Portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the portal vein) occurs when there is reduced blood flow through the liver and there is a large difference in the pressure between the blood entering the liver and exiting the liver to return to the heart. A common cause of portal hypertension is cirrhosis (fibrosis) of the liver. With cirrhosis, the normal liver cells are damaged and replaced by fibrotic scar tissue. When blood tries to pass through the liver, it meets resistance due to the scarring, and must find another channel. The body diverts this blood through vessels surrounding the stomach and lower portion of the esophagus. This increased blood flow causes these veins to become swollen, twisted and have weakened walls. These are called varices. The varices can rupture and cause severe life-threatening bleeding. Fluid called ascites can also accumulate in the abdomen due to poor liver circulation.

There are several benefits to having a TIPS procedure to correct blood flow problems in the liver and treat the consequences of poor liver circulation such as ascites and varices. The procedure is done with minimally invasive percutaneous surgery, so the recovery time is quicker and the time spent in the hospital is shorter than with open surgery. Because the TIPS procedure is minimally invasive, only a small puncture is made in to the jugular vein for insertion of the TIPS stent. Also, general anesthesia may not be needed. The TIPS procedure re-routes the blood through the liver and subsequently reduces the portal blood pressure, so that other treatments such as medications, paracentesis for ascites, and the treatment of varices using endoscopy and banding may not be needed at all or as often.


Refer to these websites for more information:

Gore Medical provides an informational TIPS brochure for patients. Available for DOWNLOAD in English and Spanish.







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Do you know the signs & symptoms?

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm.

  • Swelling, usually in one leg
    (or arm)
  • Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or
    Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) warm to touch

Pulmonary Embolism

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus