Enlarged swollen veins in the esophagus — or varices — are serious health concerns that may lead to life-threatening complications. Esophageal banding is a procedure that treats esophageal varices to reduce health risk. Board-certified gastroenterologist Ramesh Ashwath, MD, FACG, and the team at Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care perform esophageal banding. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Brandon, Florida, or request an appointment online today.
Esophageal varices are swollen veins found in the lining of your esophagus. They develop when there’s a blockage in blood flow to the liver or spleen.
Esophageal varices most often occur in people with liver disease, which decreases blood flow through the liver and affects the portal vein. The portal vein is one of the main veins in the liver.
When the portal vein isn’t functioning like it should the excess blood pushes back up into other blood vessels, including the veins in the esophagus, resulting in esophageal varices. If esophageal varices break open, it may lead to life-threatening bleeding.
The team at Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care performs esophageal banding to prevent or stop the bleeding.
Esophageal banding is a treatment for esophageal varices that helps prevent life-threatening complications. During the procedure, your gastroenterologist performs an upper endoscopy and places a special medical rubber band on the varices to stop the bleeding.
The banding cuts off the blood supply to the vein to stop the bleeding. Your body then reroutes blood through healthier veins.
Esophageal banding is a safe and effective treatment for esophageal varices and may lead to fewer complications than other methods.
The team at Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care performs your esophageal banding during an upper endoscopy. Before the procedure, your gastroenterologist administers a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure.
Your gastroenterologist then inserts the endoscope — a thin flexible tube equipped with a light and camera — and slowly advances it into your esophagus. Your gastroenterologist then uses the endoscope to place the rubber band around your enlarged vein.
The team may not be able to perform esophageal banding if your esophageal veins are actively bleeding.
After your esophageal banding, the team takes you to the recovery area for monitoring. In most cases, patients are sent home the same day with a friend or family member.
The team may need to repeat your esophageal banding every 2-4 weeks until the bleeding stops.
When your esophageal banding is complete, the team schedules regular follow-up appointments every 3-5 months to monitor you and your health.
To learn more about esophageal banding, call Bay Area Advanced Gastroenterology Care or book an appointment online today.