New Non-surgical Procedure for Portal Vein Thrombosis

With great optimism I share this news with you today.  Dr. Riad Salem at Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois, and a team of over a dozen doctors have recently developed and tested a new non-surgical procedure for the treatment of portal vein thrombosis (PVT).

A few days ago Dr. Salem reached out to me via this blog with the results of the clinical study.   His words below encapsulate this new technique.   

“At Northwestern, we have pioneered a new, non-surgical approach for the treatment of portal vein thrombosis with or without cavernomatous transformation.  It involves creating a new channel in the clotted portal vein, and placing a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) stent. We do this using ultrasound and X-ray guidance. Our first series of 61 patients has already been published with excellent success, and many of these patients have gone on to liver transplantation since they had cirrhosis of the liver. We are now performing this on adults without cirrhosis with cavernoma. Some of these patients have varices that have bled. This is a procedure you should be evaluated for if you are considering a Rex shunt, since this is a non-surgical alternative”.

Contact Information

Riad Salem MD MBA
Professor of Radiology, Medicine and Surgery
Chief, Section of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Vice-Chairman, Image-Guided Therapy
Department of Radiology
Northwestern University
676 N St Clair, Suite 800
Chicago, IL USA 60611
1-312-695-6371 office

Dr. Salem is glad to answer questions for patients and has asked that you contact him directly at 

If you have a story to share about your personal journey with portal hypertension or have had the procedure please feel free to post it. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”.  – Martin Luther King Jr.

28 thoughts on “New Non-surgical Procedure for Portal Vein Thrombosis

  1. Ahmed

    Clint, I want to thank you for posting this information about the work Dr. Salem and his team are doing at Northwestern. I have non-cirrhotic PVT with cavernous transformation and I was desperately looking for treatment that could give me a normal life back. I got in touch with Dr. Salem after reading the post and we started discussing my condition and medical history. After sending him copies of my latest imaging, Dr. Salem wanted me to fly to Chicago for the PVR-TIPS procedure, which I did. The procedure was a success and Dr. Salem restored blood flow to my portal and mesenteric veins and embolize my varices to reduce my risk of bleeding. I’m finally off the beta blocker that was draining all my energy away. I feel much better and I’m looking forward to the follow ups over the next few months to see how my body is reacting and hopefully resolving the remaining clotting in my portal and mesenteric veins.

    I encourage anyone with PVT to contact Dr. Salem to evaluate if they are a good candidate for this procedure. The procedure and treatment I received Northwestern has really changed my outlook on life and my hope to enjoy a healthy and normal life with my family.

    1. Clint Post author

      Thank you! This truly is good news! How did have you PVT before the procedure? Dr.Salem has also offered to look at my tests, but there are a few more considerations to be made before I can pursue this option. I have a colonoscopy in October and an ultrasound next month so those tests will be updated, however Canadians cannot enter the US or vice versa until Covid restrictions are lifted. I have had PVT for 18 years and am 60 years old now.

      1. Ahmed

        I have a blood disorder that causes my blood to clot more easily than the average person. Best of luck on the tests and I hope the procedure with Dr. Salem will be an available option for you.

        1. Clint Post author

          I also have a clotting disorder that has never been pin-pointed. Over the years I have had extensive testing to determine the cause, but to no avail. Anyways I am glad you are doing well. Take care, and be safe. Clint

  2. Mary Stokes

    Hi Clint– I want to echo Ahmed’s story with my own similar one! After reading this post, I consulted my gastro and hepatologist and ultimately emailed Dr. Salem as well, and sent him a copy of my latest CT scan. He believed that I would be a great candidate for the procedure and before I knew it I was on a road trip to Chicago from Atlanta in the middle of a pandemic.

    My procedure was two days ago and was a success; my platelet count is already climbing back up and my pressure is down. I feel great and I am also looking forward to a regular-ish life without the constant fear of a bleed.

    I can’t tell you how easy Dr. Salem and his team made this for me. They handled all appointments, all insurance contacts, everything. I was just told when to show up and where and then everything was taken care of by an incredible network of doctors, nurses, and technicians. If you are dealing with PVT and can get to Chicago, what are you waiting for?

    1. Clint Post author

      This is seriously good news! Thank you for sharing! I will be sending my work-ups to Dr.Salem also. I am in Canada so don’t know how it will work for me to go down, but I guess it will be figured out as time progresses. I had an Ultrasound yesterday and a CT scan coming up on the 24th. Colonoscopy is scheduled for October. A friend in Minnesita just came back from seeing Dr.Salem this past weekend and I am anxious to speak with him also. Thanks again – so happy to hear of your success!


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