Can Banding Treat Esophageal Varices?
Esophageal varices are enlarged veins in the esophagus. Most people with cirrhosis have esophageal varices. In cirrhosis, blood flow through the liver is reduced and this blood flow gets diverted towards the stomach, esophagus, spleen and hemorrhoids. Because of this increased blood flow to those regions, these veins become engorged with blood. This increased blood flow places the patient at a high risk for bleeding. In some cases these veins can rupture and lead to massive gastrointestinal bleeding.
Esophageal variceal banding can prevent and or decrease the risk of bleeding. A doctor can use an endoscope to wrap bands around these veins in order to prevent or stop bleeding. See your doctor if you think you may benefit from banding treatment.