Portal Hypertension Diagnosed and Treated by Expert Doctors at Mercy

The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

At The Center for Liver and Hepatobiliary Diseases at Mercy in Baltimore, Dr. Paul ThuluvathDr. Anurag Maheshwari and Dr. Hwan Yoo diagnose and treat patients suffering from portal hypertension. Patients from across the Mid-Atlantic region seek the expertise of our doctors for their knowledge and innovation in treating liver disease.

About the Condition

Portal hypertension is an increase in the blood pressure within a system of veins called the portal venous system. Veins, coming from the stomach, intestine, spleen, and pancreas, merge into the portal vein, branch into smaller vessels, and travel through the liver. When there is a blockage of the vessels in the liver, it is difficult for blood to flow, thus causing high pressure in the portal system. When the pressure is too high, the blood flow alternates routes to get around the blockage in the liver. The most common cause of portal hypertension is cirrhosis.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Portal hypertension symptoms include:

  • Black stools
  • Vomiting blood
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Low level of white blood cells

Portal hypertension generally is diagnosed by physical exam of the abdomen and can be confirmed by endoscopy evaluations or imaging, including ultrasound, CT, or MRI.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment options for portal hypertension consist of a variety of advanced techniques, including:

  • Medical treatments
  • TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt)
  • Gastric variceal glue injection
  • Banding and sclerotherapy
  • Liver transplant