Dr. Vimal Gupta M.D., D.M. (Gastroenterology)

Variceal Bleeding

Varices are dilated blood vessels in the esophagus or stomach caused by portal hypertension. They cause no symptoms unless they rupture and bleed, which can be life-threatening.

Someone with symptoms of bleeding varices should seek treatment immediately. Doctors can stop the bleeding and help prevent varices from coming back.

Symptoms of Bleeding Varices

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting of blood
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stool
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shock (in severe cases)

Bleeding from varices is a medical emergency. If the bleeding is not controlled quickly, a person may go into shock or die.

Even after the bleeding has been stopped, there can be serious complications, such as pneumonia, sepsis, liver failure, kidney failure, confusion, and coma.