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Esophageal varices (say "ee-sof-uh-JEE-ul VAIR-uh-seez") are veins in your esophagus that are bigger than normal. Your esophagus is a tube. It carries food from your throat to your stomach.
These veins get big because of pressure in the veins that filter blood from the intestines through the liver. This pressure makes the walls of the veins weak. Then they can rupture and cause very serious bleeding.
This problem is usually found in people who have serious liver disease.
Treatments include medicines and procedures to help lower the pressure in the veins. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
If you have bleeding from this problem, there is a risk that it will happen again. In this case, it's important to go back and follow up with your doctor.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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