Hi Jim' Wife, My husband had a TIPS done Nov. 14th. My understanding of it is that they place a stent in the hepatic vein and place it into another vein, to redirect the blood. This is suppose to relieve the patient of portal hypertension, which causes varices and ascites. The problem with this is with the blood being redirected it can cause encephalopathy, the liver may not filter the blood as well, causing high ammonia levels. It doesn't mean all patient will have this problem. Lactulose usually clears it up.
SisterMo. The procedure itself, took the doctor around 3 1/2 hours, it was done in radiology. They did put Mark under general anesthia and intubated him. He did well with that. At first he gained fluid, in places that he never did before, like his face, arms, and the fluid even got worse in his legs. I ended up taking him to the hospital E.R because he could not bend his legs , dres or undress himself. He was having other problems, but they were able to take some of the fluid off with IV lasix and a paracentesis. They checked the TIPS to make sure it was working and it was. A week later he ended up having encephalopathy big time and the fluid came off fast!!! He gained some more fluid and after another bout of the "E" his fluid is completely off. Mark is kind of an oddball with this I think. He is more comfortable now though. They were tapping him about every 5-7 days before the procedure, they were taking around 10-12 liters each time. He was at the point, that it really had to be done. Hope your brother does well with the procedure!!! Good luck!