Signs You May Have Variceal Bleeding
If you have a bloody stool or are spitting up blood, you may have variceal bleeding. Caused by ruptured blood vessels in the esophagus, stomach, or rectum, this condition can result in blood loss, sepsis, kidney failure, and more. At Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC), our experienced gastroenterologists can perform a variceal banding procedure to help stop the bleeding of varices.
Since variceal bleeding can be fatal, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vomiting blood
- Black or tarry stool
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Variceal bleeding is caused by Portal hypertension or an increase in the pressure of the portal vein. With this increased pressure, blood is pushed away from the liver and into smaller blood vessels that cannot handle the increase in blood. These blood vessels develop into fragile, swollen veins which, when ruptured, lead to tremendous blood loss.
Once a patient experiences variceal bleeding, they are likely to experience it again. As a result, a patient may need more than one variceal banding performed. During the procedure, our gastroenterology specialists place small elastic rings similar to rubber bands around enlarged veins. This helps cut off the blood flow to the varices, stopping any bleeding. While other forms of treatment exist, such as sclerotherapy, they are not as effective as banding.
Due to the high risk of repeated variceal bleeding, patients should check in with their doctor every 2-3 months to monitor the development of other varices. By following up with your doctor, you can decrease the chances of another rupture.
Want to Be Checked for Variceal Bleeding? Call GPDDC Today
If you think you have variceal bleeding or have any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention immediately. However, if you know you need variceal banding treatment, call GPDDC today at 212-979-3237 to schedule an evaluation. With extensive experience in treating variceal bleeding, our board-certified gastroenterologists can help stop any bleeding and reduce the risk of future ruptures. We proudly serve patients throughout New York City from our offices in Gramercy Park and Washington Heights.