Esophageal Varices

Esophageal varices is the condition in which the veins found in the neck area becomes enlarged and swollen. People with history of liver problem have more chance to get this disorder than others. Esophagus is the name given to the area that is found between the stomach and neck. This happens when there is obstruction in the normal blood flow to the liver. The veins get enlarged due to the back pressure caused by the liver thereby putting more blood into the smaller vessels causing enlargement. In serious case, it can rupture causing life threatening situation.

Symptoms :

The area of esophagus will become enlarged and look swollen. There may be vomiting and nausea in the affected person. For some there may be discharge of blood in stool that is black in color. In sever case the patient may collapse after a shock.

Causes :

It happens when the normal blood flow is disrupted from the liver building back pressure. It slows down the bloodstream that is carried in the veins that passes through the liver into the heart. As a result there will be increase in pressure in the portal vein which in turn forces the excess of blood into the smaller veins in the nearby area. All this reaction will cause enlarged esophageal area and the veins appear swollen due to increased amount of blood.

Liver cirrhosis or any other liver problem can cause this disorder. Thrombosis or blood clot in the major vein can cause varices in the esophagus, leading to enlargement of veins. Sometimes even a parasitic infection can be the reason for this problem. People who suffer from Budd Chiari syndrome can get esophageal varices forcing the blood into the veins of esophagus.

There may be internal bleeding in the veins, if there is adequate vein pressure, if there is red marks on the varices and if you are suffering from severe liver failure.

Diagnoses :

Your doctor may use endoscopy test for studying the liver problem and for screening esophageal varices. For some patients, CT scan and MRI scans are done for diagnosing the problem correctly.

Treatment :

The main purpose of the treatment should be in lowering the blood pressure on the veins for preventing internal bleeding. Your doctor may give prescribed medications to slow down the blood flow in the portal veins. He would use beta blocker drugs like propranolol and nadolol for reducing blood pressure.

Sometimes, he would use endoscopy test to insert a tube inside the esophagus and tie off the veins inside using an elastic band to control back pressure.

In case of severe bleeding, immediate treatment should be provided. Using elastic band to stop bleeding, injecting a solution into the area of bleeding veins and giving intravenous drugs to reduce blood flow are some of the methods of treatment given if the person starts bleeding inside.

Pictures of Esophageal Varices :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Esophageal Varices

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Prevention :

People with liver problem like cirrhosis should avoid taking alcohol and follow a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet. Since drinking alcohol will directly affect the liver and can cause esophageal varices, you should stop alcohol. You need to maintain the right weight and control taking fatty foods and fried items.

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