On January 1, 2018; Jeffrey suffered esophagus varices caused by a blood clot in the portal vein leading to his liver. Many veins in his esophagus ruptured causing life threatening bleeding. This happens because the blood flow to the liver was blocked by the clot so it caused great pressure in the veins. They went in with a scope and put bands on the ruptures first (once they do this they cannot go back in with a scope again) and they thought they got them all but the bleeding did not stop. They then went in and did transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) to place a shunt. The shunt is a tube that is placed between the portal vein and the hepatic vein, which carries blood from your liver to your heart. The shunt reduces pressure in the portal vein and often stops bleeding from esophageal varices. They also coiled the veins to stop the bleeding.
The TIPS shunt can cause serious complications, including liver failure and mental confusion, which can develop when toxins that the liver normally would filter are passed through the shunt directly into the bloodstream. TIPS is mainly used when all other treatments have failed or as a temporary measure and in Jeffrey’s case this is a temporary measure because of the blood clot and varices there is no other option but a transplant. Jeffrey’s liver Dr and the radiologist have sent a referral to Mayo for a consult for a liver transplant.
Jeffrey was back in the emergency room on January 18 and on the 19th his Dr contacted Mayo. We received the call regarding the transplant evaluation which is scheduled for the week of February 12 at Mayo in Rochester.