Cirrhosis and Variceal Bleeding – Part 4
Endoscopic therapy (placing a scope down the esophagus) is a mainstay of invasive treatment for bleeding varices. There are two therapeutic options available with endoscopy – sclerotherapy and ligation (“tying off” the vein). Octreotide in combination with sclerotherapy has been shown to be superior to sclerotherapy alone in that it decreases the incidence of early rebleeding. a similar effect is observed when octreotide is used in combination with variceal ligation.
In addition, octreotide reduces the bleeding and aids in better visualization of the varices during endoscopy when used prior to the procedure. Most hepatologists (liver specialists) recommend continuing it for at least 24 to 48 hours after endoscopy to reduce the risk of rebleeding.
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