Liver Failure (TIPS)

Treatments for Liver Failure

VIR offers multiple treatments for liver failure, including medical therapy and the TIPS procedure, both of which can be performed at an Illinois Adventist hospital.

There are many causes of liver failure and end stage liver disease, including alcohol-related liver disease, hepatitis, metastatic tumors, and environmental exposures to toxins. Over time, the liver can become scarred and develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can cause blood pressure to build up in the abdomen leading to bleeding or fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites).

The TIPS Procedure

If medical therapy fails to be an effective liver failure treatment, a procedure called Transjugular Intrahepatic Portal-systemic Shunt (TIPS) can be performed. The traditional open surgical bypass has a 10-60 percent mortality (death risk). Procedure-related mortality due to TIPS procedures is rare.

This non-surgical treatment involves creating a bypass inside the liver using balloon angioplasty and stent-graft technology. X-ray guidance is used to find the correct vessels and to form a short pathway between them inside the liver. This relieves the high pressure in the veins and reverses the tendency for bleeding and fluid accumulation.

This pathway is kept open using a stent.

The TIPS procedure may be a bridge to liver transplantation in very sick patients. Some patients may be too ill to have the procedure however. Careful evaluation and consultation with other specialists regarding treatments for liver failure is performed in every case.

If you or a loved one might be a candidate for a TIPS procedure, ask your doctor. To schedule a clinic consultation, contact us for information regarding treatments for liver failure or call (630) 856-7460.