Liver Interventions

We offer several advanced liver interventions to help treat tumors, portal vein thrombosis and portal hypertension.

In collaboration with Henry Ford Hospital’s nationally recognized hepatologists and liver transplant surgeons, our Interventional Radiologists perform advanced liver interventions for the management and treatment of:

  • Liver tumors
  • Portal vein thrombosis
  • Portal hypertension with related bleeding varices (abnormally enlarged blood vessels), ascites (fluid in abdomen) and hepatic hydrothorax (fluid in the chest due to liver disease)

Liver tumors

When liver cells begin to reproduce at an abnormal rate, they can form benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) liver tumors. While many malignant liver tumors are inoperable, the Henry Ford Interventional Radiology team offers several other advanced treatment options for liver cancer, including:

  • Chemoembolization
  • Radioembolization
  • Bland Embolization
  • Percutaneous ablation

Portal vein thrombosis

Portal vein thrombosis is a clot in the portal vein, which is the main vessel that carries blood from the intestines to the liver. Portal vein thrombosis is a serious condition because the clot can obstruct or completely prevent blood flow to the liver. Our interventional radiologists consider a range of advanced procedures for each case, including:

  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis
  • Angioplasty
  • Stenting
  • Mechanical clot-destruction devices

Portal hypertension

Portal hypertension is higher than normal pressure in some of the veins within the abdomen, a condition that may result from a liver disease such as cirrhosis. This can cause serious health problems as a result of bleeding from the affected veins or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. If these pressurized veins rupture, it also can result in more serious, even life-threatening, health risks.

Advanced liver interventions for portal hypertension

Portal hypertension is often treated initially through endoscopic therapy or medication. When these first-line treatments fail, your Henry Ford Interventional Radiologist may recommend one of several portal vein procedures to reduce pressure in the affected veins, including:

  • TIPS procedure: During the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) liver intervention, a stent (metal mesh tube) is inserted in the liver. This stent is used to re-route blood flow through the liver by creating a new path between the portal vein and a hepatic vein.
  • DIPS procedure: For patients who have narrow or blocked hepatic veins, Henry Ford Interventional Radiology offers the similar direct intrahepatic portocaval shunt (DIPS) procedure, which bypasses the hepatic veins to place a stent directly between the vena cava (largest vein in the body) and the portal vein. This procedure is guided by an ultrasound catheter, which is also placed in the vessel temporarily.
  • Procedures that block varices: This includes CARTO (coil-assisted retrograde transvenous obliteration), BRTO (balloon-assisted retrograde transvenous obliteration) and variceal occlusion.
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