How Does One Prepare for Variceal Banding?
The day before the procedure, you should have a light dinner. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. Prior to your procedure, it may be recommended that you get blood work done prior such as a Complete Blood Count and/or Coagulation Profile. You will need to have someone drive you to and from the procedure due to the sedatives.
How is Variceal Banding Performed?
On the day of the procedure, you will be given an IV with medicine to relax you. You will need to lie on your left side while a supportive device is placed in your mouth. The doctor will place a scope in your mouth along with a suction tube to clear fluids. Your doctor will place a scope into your mouth and down your esophagus. Once the varices have been located, the scope will be removed and the banding device will be attached to the end of the scope. Your doctor will insert the scope back into the esophagus and suck the enlarged vein into the device chamber to band it.
What Happens After the Variceal Banding is Done?
You will be transferred into recovery until the sedative wears off. For four hours after the procedure, you should only consume clear liquids. After four hours, you may eat soft foods for the remainder of the day. Some people may have mild to moderate chest pain following the procedure, If you experience severe chest pain, call your doctor.
There is a possibility that bleeding may return after the banding. In fact, most people who have bleeding esophageal varices will experience recurrent bleeding. Further variceal banding and the prescribing of medication called beta-blockers may be necessary to prevent re-bleeding.
What are the Risks Associated with Variceal Banding?
There are a few possible complications after variceal banding such as:
- Return of bleeding
- Puncture of the wall of the esophagus (esophageal perforation)
- Sores in the esophagus (esophageal ulcers)
- Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture)