Esophageal varices are a symptom of severe liver diseases and need to be treated by a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. In an effort to educate patients, this article discusses the causes, symptoms of, and treatments for esophageal varices.
What are Esophageal Varices?
Esophageal varices are enlarged veins in the lower esophagus. They are often present in patients with serious liver diseases like cirrhosis. When scar tissue disrupts normal blood flow through the liver, blood flows into smaller veins that are not equipped for such flow. This can cause the veins to leak or rupture. Here are some of the common symptoms of esophageal varices:
- Bloody or black stool
- Coughing up blood
Treating Esophageal Varices
Don’t forget, before you can work on treating esophageal varices (or any condition for that matter) you need to get a solid diagnosis from a trained medical professional – such as a gastroenterologist. Diagnosing esophageal varices a physical examination, as well as imaging tests (CT scan, MRI, etc.), and possibly an EGD. Treatment depends on the patient, but the general goal of treating esophageal varices is to prevent and stop bleeding. This can be accomplished with various medications, or banding – a procedure used to tie off bleeding veins.
Because esophageal varices can be life-threatening in some patients, it’s important to make an appointment with a skilled gastroenterologist as soon as possible if you are experiencing symptoms.
Gastro Doctor in Chaska
Dr. Bhatti has performed more than 40,000 advanced GI procedures over the course of his 20 years in practice. That makes him one of the most experienced gastroenterologists in the entire state of Minnesota, and one of the only GI doctors to specialize in the treatment of liver disease. If you are searching for a skilled and experienced gastroenterologist, look no further than Bhatt GI Consultants. Contact us today at one of our GI clinics. With locations in Chaska and Edina, we treat patients throughout the Twin Cities metro, as well as greater Minnesota.