TIPS stands for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. A TIPS procedure is usually used to treat patients with portal hypertension complications like variceal bleeding, portal gastropathy, severe ascites and Budd-Chiari syndrome.
The interventional radiology team performs TIPS procedures. Because we do not want your child to be in any discomfort or moving, this procedure is performed under general anesthesia. An anesthesiologist will come speak to you prior to the exam, as will the radiologist preforming the procedure. They will explain what will occur and answer any questions that you may have.
This procedure uses ultrasound and fluoroscopic imaging (live images) to create a pathway within the liver connecting the portal vein to the hepatic vein. The radiologist will use ultrasound to access the internal jugular vein. This area will be numbed with lidocaine prior to making the small incision in the neck area. They will then insert catheters and measure the pressure within the hepatic vein for a baseline pressure measurement. They will also inject a contrast media to help them visualize the portal venous system.
Once they can clearly identify the anatomy, the radiologist will cross the hepatic vein into the portal system. It is here that they will make the pathway between the portal vein and the hepatic vein. The radiologist will then place a stent through this pathway to keep the connection patent (open). The radiologist will repeat the pressure measurements again to document improved pressure gradients.
Your child will have a small dressing placed over the incision to keep it clean prior to waking up from the anesthesia.
Two in a Million: The Swanson Twins
Twins Jake and Luke Swanson were born healthy, but soon after birth were diagnosed with biliary atresia, a devastating liver disease that requires an organ transplant to survive. The boys are the only known twins in North America with this life-threatening condition. The family sought the world-renowned expertise of specialists at our Siragusa Transplantation Center. Learn more about the TIPS procedure and Lurie Children’s outcomes by watching the video below.