The following video demonstrates the transjugular intrahepatic portal systemic shunt procedure TIPS used to lower portal pressure and lessen complications of portal hypertension.
This technique is usually performed by a radiologist but other clinicians can also carry this out. In this procedure a metal tube is passed across the liver to allow the blood in the portal vein to go straight into the hepatic vein and so bypass the high resistance of the liver. The procedure can take several hours to perform, but it is not without complications.
The most significant complication of the procedure is called encephalopathy wherein the patient may get a little bit drowsy, confused or in rare cases end up in a coma. This is because the blood usually clears toxins from the bowel and if these toxins bypass the liver they can affect the electrical activity of the brain.