Patient Comments: TIPS Procedure - Complications


Please describe your experience with TIPS procedure complications. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: DebZ, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 17

My husband, at 56, had the TIPS procedure done in November 2017. He had esophageal varices for a year and 10 months and had lots of bandings done before the TIPS. For the most part, he is doing well (as of 4/2019), though he has many other health issues. Complication is hepatic encephalopathy. He's had several incidences of increased ammonia levels and disorientation, to the point where I've taken him to the emergency room to get levels under control. Lactulose and Kristalose are what he takes with rifaximin.

Comment from: diane, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 24

My husband was 81 years old, had TIPS procedure done on August 29, 2018. Lots of complications came from it, and on Oct 1st, 2018 he passed away, and he suffered greatly. Please be careful with this procedure, wish he never had it done.

Comment from: Tammer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

I had a TIPS procedure done about a week ago. I’m not sure if it is working or I need more time to adjust. I have ascites back just as badly as before. They usually take 15 liters. I am distended with veins sticking out of my stomach, and in severe pain. I wonder if this means my TIPS procedure didn’t work. The doctors tell me nothing.

Comment from: TC, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 16

My wife had the TIPS procedure done the beginning of August and I don't like the way she is acting. She is like she is in slow motion all the time, no energy. Will she ever come out of this! She is 57.

Comment from: April57, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 10

My husband just had TIPS procedure. He is doing good. He just doesn't know what he can eat to prevent bleeding varices again.

Comment from: LS, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 03

I underwent the TIPS placement in 2007 due to stage 4 cirrhosis. It was revised in 2009 due to complications. I am still in decent health today. I have routine bloodwork and ultrasounds to keep track of my condition. I am thankful every day. I hope for health for all who are in a like situation. Do not give up.

Comment from: Meteocal1, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

I had the TIPS procedure done a month ago due to constant esophageal bleeds. So far I feel good, except for the sporadic heart arrhythmias.

Comment from: NicoleK38, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 14

My mom was given the TIPS procedure and died shortly after. They said that she was not eligible for a liver transplant. I do not get this being that there are drug addicts and alcoholics out there that I know who have received transplants. My mom was neither. We thought that TIPS would save her, but as soon as she had the procedure done, we watched her go on a downward spiral very quickly from that point on. This makes me terribly angry.

Comment from: Hepatic Heather, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 01

My mom passed recently from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. When the hepatologist offered TIPS as a way to keep my mom around longer, she decided it was not for her. She already had congestive heart failure and hepatic encephalopathy. Having this procedure would cause both problems to worsen. I have NASH stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. I have congestive heart failure and suffer from hepatic encephalopathy just like my mom. My hepatologist has made the decision for me in that the TIPS procedure would be "too problematic to consider TIPS placement." It does not make sense to me as a caregiver at one time and a patient since 2008 that TIPS should even be considered as it appears to be a "last ditch effort" by the doctors to keep you alive (until you pass or you are on a liver transplant list).

Comment from: grateful, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 09

I had a TIPS procedure three years ago and it too saved my life and is keeping me off the liver transplant list. After years of drinking I'm back in great health and running 10Ks again.

Comment from: Tony, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 05

My gastroenterologist wants me to have the TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shun) procedure. I have chronic pancreatitis and have the consequent scarring of my liver (cirrhosis) since 2006. I do not drink, smoke or take illegal drugs. I frequently get severe pancreas attacks (pain) thus take pain killers regularly but they only take some of the pain away. My esophagus ruptured (enlarged veins from the liver) and I nearly died. I have had a few TAPS done, the last one was before Christmas and they took 8 liters of fluid from ascites. My liver is now the focus as my abdomen is distended (I look like I'm 9 months pregnant). I am not in favor of a liver transplant but had a consult recently. I understand that a needle into my jugular vein is used to insert a shunt.


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Comment from: Diana, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I was diagnosed with liver disease in 2010 and had severe gastrointestinal bleed. They placed a TIPS and I have MRIs and blood work every 6 months. My TIPS procedure has been a life saver, I have it checked regularly and I am still here. The specialist I see said I may need a new one in 8 years. But I hope that by then I will be doing good to have another TIPS, it can be a lifesaver.


Liver disease refers to any abnormal process that affects the liver. See Answer