Why Is Variceal Banding Performed?
Having variceal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires prompt care and treatment. Variceal banding is commonly used to stop this bleeding and reduce the risk of serious complications.
What Is Variceal Bleeding?
It is the bleeding that occurs when you have enlarged veins or varices in your digestive tract - it can happen when you have a disease that affects the liver, such as cirrhosis. Liver conditions can cause more blood to flow through the digestive tract, which can lead to enlarged veins. When you have this problem, you’re likely to have it occur again. Variceal banding helps stop this bleeding from happening.
Symptoms of Variceal Bleeding
If you have variceal bleeding, you might vomit blood, have a rapid heart rate and feel lightheaded. Other symptoms that can occur include low blood pressure and stool that is dark, tarry or stool with blood in it. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible to lower the risk of fatal complications.
What Does Variceal Banding Do?
Variceal banding stops blood from leaking from your varices, which significantly lowers the risk of serious health problems. This type of procedure involves the use of endoscopy to place bands around the affected veins. These bands cut off blood flow to these veins, which stops bleeding from occurring. Since variceal bleeding can occur more than once, some patients will need to have this procedure done again. In some cases, this banding procedure is combined with other treatments to help stop bleeding in the digestive tract.
What to Expect
Variceal banding is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of endoscopy. These endoscopic techniques involve placing a tiny camera, instruments, and rings inside your digestive tract. The camera helps doctors see inside the affected area in order to put the rings around your affected veins. Since this is a non-invasive procedure, you do not have to worry about certain complications, such as infections and bleeding.
Who Is a Good Candidate
Patients who are experiencing variceal bleeding make good candidates. This procedure is considered safe for most patients.
Since variceal banding is a non-invasive procedure, there is little downtime associated with it. Keep in mind that it’s important to have follow-up appointments scheduled to check for additional bleeding, since variceal bleeding can happen again. However, patients typically have fewer occurrences of recurring bleeding after having variceal banding done.
If you need more information on variceal banding, please contact Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center to schedule an appointment. We can provide you with detailed information on this procedure and determine if you’re a good candidate for it.