Interventional Radiology

TIPS for Ascites, GI Bleeding and Portal Hypertension

TIPS stands for Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt. This is a special stent used to relieve elevated pressures in the veins in the abdomen.

Portal Hypertension

Portal Hypertension is increased pressure in the portal vein system. This is usually caused by liver disease, which prevents normal blood flow through the liver. The increased pressure can cause fluid to leak into the belly (called ascites). It can also cause blood vessels to swell and burst, resulting in bleeding. This has many names including GI bleeding, variceal bleeding, esophageal varices and gastroesophageal varices.

Treatment with TIPS

TIPS treats portal hypertension by creating a tunnel connection between the portal vein (the vein that carries blood from the digestive system to the liver) and one of the hepatic veins (veins that carry blood from the liver to the heart). A stent—small, tubular metal device—is placed in the connection to keep the pathway open.

What to Expect

First, you will meet with an interventional radiologist to discuss liver disease, portal hypertension and TIPS.

On the day of your procedure, you will come to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. You will speak with the interventional radiologist before your procedure. The procedure takes 2 - 4 hours. After the procedure you will stay in the hospital overnight for close observation. You may go home the next day, or stay in the hospital for several days.


Schedule your TIPS consultation now.