What is TIPS Placement?
Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Placement procedure is when a stent is placed in an intrahepatic (within the liver) tract created between the portal and systemic venous systems. This is used to decrease the increased portal venous pressure in patients with cirrhosis or other syndromes causing portal hypertension. It is most commonly done for recurrent ascites (fluid in the belly) and esophageal bleeding.
Utilizing ultrasound guidance your right internal jugular vein is accessed with a needle, and a wire is passed through the needle into the vein. Using X-ray guidance, the wire is guided into a hepatic vein and once there, a longer needle is then used to puncture from the hepatic vein into a branch of the portal vein. This needle is hollow and a wire is then advanced through the needle into the portal vein.
Over this wire, a stent is placed in this new tract allowing for a direct pathway between the portal and systemic venous systems.
The TIPS Placement procedure is performed in a hospital with general anesthesia.