Author(s): Klempnaue J, Schrem H
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Abstract Historically, surgical shunts have played an important role in the treatment of patients with portal hypertension associated with ascites and/or variceal esophageal bleeding. Today, in the era of liver transplantation most patients with end-stage liver disease and concomitant portal hypertension and associated problems are best treated by liver grafting. The successful introduction of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS), performed by radiologists and gastroenterologists, provides a very effective alternative to surgical shunt procedures. One advantage of TIPS is that this procedure does not interfere with subsequent liver grafting. Today, surgical shunts have clearly lost ground to the less invasive TIPS procedure. Surgical shunts still maintain a role: as a salvage procedure in selected cases and in emergency situations. Surgical shunts are associated with a high rate of encephalopathy. In most cases selective surgical shunts should be preferred to nonselective surgical shunts. The role of partial surgical shunts versus selective surgical shunts remains to be determined. Hepatic encephalopathy is a common complication of all shunt procedures and is dependent on the shunt volume. Liver grafting is able to reverse encephalopathy because of a shunting procedure. In our institution, we prefer TIPS over surgical shunts as a bridging procedure before liver transplantation.
This article was published in Metab Brain Dis
and referenced in Surgery: Current Research