Your Radiologist Explains Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS)
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Hello, I'm Dr. Jay Pahade, a diagnostic radiologist and abdominal imaging specialist at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. I'd like to talk with you about Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt – we usually just call it TIPS.
A TIPS is a procedure that is usually performed by an interventional radiologist. It's used to connect the portal vein to a hepatic vein in the liver. X-ray and ultrasound imaging are used to help guide the connection and placement of a small metal device called a stent. The stent functions as a shunt or bypass to bring blood draining from the spleen and bowel back to the heart while avoiding its normal path through the liver.
A TIPS is placed when increased pressure in the portal vein (a condition called portal hypertension) causes reduced blood flow into the liver. It can be a life-saving procedure and is often done for patients that are having bleeding from blood vessels due to portal hypertension or having problems with recurrent fluid accumulation in the abdomen called ascites.
A TIPS decompresses the blood flow through the liver and reduces the pressure within the portal venous system.
If you're scheduled for a TIPS, there are several things you can do to prepare.
First, talk to your doctor about any recent illnesses or medical conditions, medications you're taking and whether or not you have any allergies. Tell your doctor if there is any possibility you may be pregnant. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything a few hours before your procedure.
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