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End-stage liver failure and TIPS (Transjuglar Intrahepatic Portosystemi...
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End-stage liver failure and TIPS (Transjuglar Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt)

My brother has informed our family that he is in the end-stage of liver failure.  He has all 3 types of hepatitis' (sp) and alcoholic cirrhosis.  The doctor he is seeing is consulting him on doing a TIPS (Transjuglar Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt)  Have any of you had this done?  I would like an opinion on this so I will understand this procedure, dangers, good sides etc. He's at the in and out stages of remembering things said to him and it's hard for our family to know what's going on with him, he lives out of our area. Hope to hear from any of you having experienced or knowledge on this.
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There is a string of messages about TIPS at

If you go there, you can scroll through about 20 articles on TIPS.

(It's a messageboard for liver failure. You can enter as a "guest" to read only........or you can make up a nickname and password if you want to post messages of your own there.)(It's free.)

TIPS is a procedure done by a radiologist. The radiologist places a stent between the portal vein and the hepatic vein (so that bloodflow can bypass the liver).

The two most common complications after the procedure are:
1. increased encephalopathy (because the liver is being bypassed, and not filtering the blood properly)
2. occlusion (clogging of the stent)

TIPS is usually done as a bridge for transplant. (To keep a person alive while they wait for a transplant).

TIPS reduces the pressure in the portal vein.
This can help reduce pressure in varices (so hopefully they won't burst).
It can also help to reduce ascites (fluid build up in the abdomen).

You mentioned that he's having a hard time remembering things (that's probably encephalopathy). Is he taking LACTULOSE to help with that?

If I can be any help, let me know.


Thank you so much for your information and letting me know about the other site on TIPS.  I don't know what type of medicine my brother is taking, it's sad, I've asked questions, but he doesn't seem to remember too many things right now.  It breaks my heart to hear him in this state of mind.  I just wish I knew where he is going and what we should expect as his family.
My husband was diagnosed with End Stage Liver Failure in Sept 1998 , went for transplant evaluation at Baylor Medical Center in July 99, but because of other internal problems was turned down for a liver transplant.  After several bouts with bleeding of the varices veins of the esosphagus, they performed a TIPS procedure in August 2000.  It has stopped the vomiting of the blood , and has extended his life expectancy,  but has not stopped the pain annd suffering that he goes through every day.  He is now experiencing blackouts- swelling in the legs and feet andn stomach and has no energy whatsoever. He takes Enulose ( Lactulose) and 9 other prescriptions-  He is drawing SS Disability- so if your brother has not applied for that-  do so immediately-  Gastro problems-  especially the bleeding-  are immediate qualifications for SSD-  Good Luck and God Bless You-  I understand your concern and frustration-
A related discussion, what to expect after T.I.P.S. prcedure? was started.
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