Certain liver diseases can cause dysfunction inside the liver, which can cause portal hypertension. The portal vein is the blood vessel that delivers blood to the liver from the stomach, spleen, intestines and pancreas. When the liver is dysfunctional from disease, it can experience complications such as a blood backup into the liver or issues like hepatitis or cirrhosis. A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, or TIPS surgery, is a minimally invasive procedure for portal hypertension and other liver dysfunction treatment.
Dr. Dmitri Alden is a highly respected and skilled oncological surgeon with a team of colleagues that offer expertise in various fields. One of the procedures we offer through our medical clinic in New York City is TIPS surgery. This procedure is performed through our radiology department by Dr. Alden and some of his radiologist colleagues.
The goal of TIPS surgery is to reduce pressure (hypertension) in the portal vein. To accomplish this, a shunt is placed to connect a branch of the portal vein to the hepatic vein. The shunt is made from a small wire mesh cage (stent) that can redirect blood from entering the liver from the portal vein to the hepatic vein.
Minimally Invasive Portal Hypertension Surgery
During the TIPS surgery, the jugular vein is accessed in the neck through a small incision. A catheter is placed in the vein, which is carefully guided through the vein through x-ray imaging to the liver veins (hepatic and portal). The catheter contains a small balloon and a stent, which are used to create the shunt. A needle is used to connect a branch of the portal vein and the hepatic vein. The small balloon is inflated to widen the stent, which creates the shunt between the portal and hepatic veins. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is backed out of the jugular vein, then the incision is closed.
TIPS surgery is an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure that can be very effective for certain liver complications like portal hypertension. However, not everyone is a good candidate for TIPS surgery. Certain conditions can contribute to poor outcomes with the TIPS procedure. In these patients, surgery to correct the portal hypertension may be required.
To learn more about TIPS surgery and portal hypertension treatment, contact the office of Dr. Dmitri Alden in UES Manhattan.