Transjugular, intrahepatic, portosystemic shunt (TIPS), is a shunt (tube) placed between the portal vein which carries blood from the intestines to the liver and the hepatic vein which carries blood from the liver back to the heart. It is used primarily (but not exclusively) in patients with cirrhosis in which the scar tissue within the liver has blocked the flow of blood passing through the liver from the portal vein to the hepatic vein. The blockage increases the pressure in the portal vein leading to an increase in pressure in the portal vein (portal hypertension). As a result of the increase in pressure, blood flows around the liver via small, unimportant veins that connect the portal vein with other veins within the abdomen. These veins enlarge and are referred to as varices.
Unfortunately, one of the places varices form is in the stomach and lower esophagus, and these varices have a tendency to bleed massively, frequently causing death from exsanguination. By providing an artificial path for blood traveling from the intestines, through the liver, and back to the heart, TIPS reduces the pressure in the varices and prevents them from rupturing and bleeding. There are several types of shunts that are placed surgically. TIPS is a non-surgical way of placing a portosystemic shunt. The shunt is passed down the jugular vein in the neck by a radiologist using x-ray guidance. The shunt then is inserted between the portal and hepatic veins within the liver.
- Liver spot
A pigmented flat spot on sun-exposed skin in older adults, especially on the back of the hands and on the forehead. Liver spots are benign. Medically called a senile lentigo.
- Liver transplant
Surgery to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver (or part of one) from a donor. The most common reasons for liver transplantation in children is biliary atresia (a disease in which the ducts that carry bile out of the liver are missing or damaged) while in adults the most common […]
- Liver transplantation, living donor
Living donor liver transplantation.
Black-and-blue, as from bruising.
- Living will
An advance medical directive that specifies what types of medical treatment are desired. A living will can be very specific or very general. The most common statement in a living will requests that if the patient suffers an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition, and the attending physician determines that the condition is terminal, life-sustaining […]