I wanted to help you understand what’s going on in relation to the TIPS procedure if I can. I have found in my career that when people can picture in their mind what causes certain things and how it relates to them or their loved ones they are better able to cope with the disease and the procedures that follow. So maybe if you understand what Portal Hypertension is you will see why they have to do TIPS. First, there is a large vein in the liver called the Portal Vein. Its primary function is to drain blood into the liver (the liver is a big filtering organ) so the liver can clean the blood and push it out to other organs. When someone has cirrhosis the liver is scarred and the scarring puts pressure on the vein. As the pressure builds it blocks the vein from doing its job. It’s like squeezing a hose that has water coming thru it and slowing the flow of water. In the meantime it builds up pressure. The same thing happens with the vein. When the pressure mounts it literally gets high blood pressure. Thus, it’s called Portal Vein Hypertension. Someone can develop ascites and/or varices as a result of all the pressure. To get the vein to work correctly again they have to do the TIPS Procedure which reroutes the blood flow in the liver thus reducing the pressure in all the abnormal veins. TIPS stands for “Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt”. A shunt or stent (looks like a tube) is placed in the middle of the liver which reroutes the blood flow. This is NOT considered surgery but rather a procedure done by a radiologist. It can take a few hours to do, sometimes only an hour but plan on a few hours. Normally, the patient stays in the hospital for a couple days so they can watch them and make sure everything is working OK. I hope this helps you and alleviates some of your fear about it. Keep us posted.