Esophageal Varices; Symptoms, Diagnosis & Operative Treatment

Treatment of esophageal varices

In medicine, treating symptoms is important, but without treating the underlying condition, the same symptoms will recur and are more likely to be more severe. In the case of esophageal varices, the main problem is usually the underlying liver condition. As for the treatment of acute hemorrhage (hematemesis), the following is done:

  • Admission to the hospital: Even if the amount of bleeding is minimal, you will need to be admitted for further treatment and diagnosis.
  • Giving IV fluids with or without blood: Replacing the lost fluids is essential to preserving life. A severe attack of bloody vomiting usually needs blood transfusion. A small sample of your blood will be used for crossmatching, a test to make sure that the transfused blood is compatible with your plasma.
  • Controlling the bleeding: One of the main objectives of preserving life and improving the outcome is to control the bleeding. This can be done by using medications such as terlipressin or through procedures such as Sangestaken tube and endoscopic procedures.

    Many endoscopic procedures exist including injection sclerotherapy. It includes the injection of a special glue-like material that closes the bleeding varices and prevents them from oozing blood. This has a chance of failure, but it remains the main line for stopping bleeding.