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Esophageal varices are abnormal blood vessels (veins) that develop in the esophagus. They have abnormally thin walls, and the blood pressure within them is very high. This combination makes esophageal varices very dangerous, because they can burst and cause life-threatening bleeding.
Endoscopic band ligation is the use of elastic bands to treat the varices. It is done as part of an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy .
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This procedure is done to treat esophageal varices (enlarged veins). If left untreated, varices could rupture and bleed severely.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an endoscopic band ligation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Painful swallowing
- Esophageal damage
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Bleeding disorder
- Active bleeding
- Advanced age
- Heart or lung problems
- Use of certain medicines
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Increasing pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloody vomit
- Difficulty swallowing