Variceal Banding & Esophageal Varices Treatment in NYC
What is variceal banding?
Variceal banding is a common technique that is used to stop variceal bleeding. Variceal bleeding occurs in a patient’s digestive tract originating from varices, or enlarged veins. Banding is a proven method to stop the bleeding, which can prevent further complications and serious health risks.
Why is variceal banding performed?
Variceal banding is performed on patients experiencing variceal bleeding, which is the leaking of blood from enlarged veins (varices) in the digestive tract. Often, patients suffering from cirrhosis will develop this condition. Unfortunately, once variceal bleeding occurs in a patient, there is a high likelihood that it will occur again. The chances for subsequent bleeding are highest after the initial incident, with chances diminishing over the course of several weeks. Untreated, this type of bleeding can result in death, so it is important to have it treated as quickly as possible.
Common symptoms include:
- Vomiting or spitting up blood
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Black, tarry, or bloody stool
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is critical to seek medical help immediately.
Esophageal varices treatment
Variceal banding is commonly performed using endoscopic techniques. During endoscopic variceal banding, gastroenterology specialists at Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) use an endoscope to carefully place small elastic rings around the problematic enlarged veins. These rings are similar to rubber bands and work by cutting off the flow of blood to the veins. As a result, the varices will eventually stop bleeding because their blood supply has been cut off.
Sometimes, due to recurring bleeding or to prevent further bleeding, patients may need to undergo more than one endoscopic variceal banding procedure. Due to the risk of repeated bleeding episodes, it is important for patients to follow up with their doctor every few months in order to have their veins checked regularly.
Sclerotherapy vs. variceal banding
Variceal banding is often used alongside vasoconstrictors and beta-blockers to address bleeding issues in the esophagus or digestive tract. For some patients, sclerotherapy is another type of endoscopic therapy that can resolve variceal bleeding. However, in many cases, this procedure may be a less effective treatment option with more potential complications than variceal banding. Patients will usually experience fewer subsequent bleeding episodes with a banding procedure than they have with sclerotherapy.
Schedule a consultation today!
If you believe you may be suffering from variceal bleeding and need variceal banding treatment, it is critical to seek medical evaluation immediately. The development of bleeding varices is a serious, life-threatening condition.
Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center (GPDDC) is home to top board-certified gastroenterology physicians, with an extensive background in treating variceal bleeding with varices banding. Call (212) 979-3237 or use the form on this page to learn more about variceal banding treatment.