Hi.....went for an endoscopy today and was told I had a grade one varices....up till now been lucky and endoscopies found nothing.Been told I need to go back in a year for another😒 and possibly banding.Have heard of banding but no idea what it entails so am guessing procedure done with endoscopy.Should I be worried?Not seeing consultant till May and getting appointment with ANY gp is over 2 weeks away...


31 Replies

  • Hi Earthpixie, yes banding happens at the same time as endoscopy - it just means that after checking out your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum with camera/scope they then take it out and put down a second tool which is the bander.

    No more worrying than the endoscopy is itself - same procedure but there can be some discomfort in the days following as anything you ingest has to pass by the site of any banding which can be a little bit painful but does usually pass after only a few days - soft diet very much recommended.

    Did you have sedation for your endoscopy? If you were having banding then i'd suggest having both the throat spray and the sedation - just with the fact you have to endure 2 seperate tools going down rather than just simply the one.

    My hubby has had 42 varices banded over a period of two years during many endoscopies. Whenever he had a varices show it got banded and his eventually got 'obliterated' after his consultant took an aggressive approach to banding. He though had already had 7 varices burst and hasn't ever been on a beta blocker.

    If you went alright with the endoscopy you should be fine with banding - procedure takes less than 10 minutes and with sedation you'll never know.

    All the best, Katie x

  • Thanks..its just one they found and only had the throat spray..never pleasant but was ok..but would have sedation if banded definitely..will have to wait and see what happens next year ...

  • Sorry to hear that you have a varice,i had a endoscopy last year to check but I was given the all clear for now until next check up, couple of years away still.

    I know they band them but I have no experience.

    I'm sure the troops will get on it and explain everything to you.

    Sorry again earthpixie, just when you think all is going well eh.

    Hope this doesn't affect you too much

    and you stay strong, I know it's not easy.

    Sending lots of hope and courage. Xx

  • Hi....well had a small bleed 2 years ago..threw up a small amount of blood..hotfooted it to a&e spent day there, and at that time no varices found.But today they found one..not overly concerned but will email a certain specialist nurse...Had to change doctors with house move a year or so ago and have no confidence with any doctor there...but have an appointment next thursday.

    Just a hiccup...worse things happen and otherwise doing fine😁

    Hope you are still doing know you are doing well😆


  • Good luck on Thursday,I know T will look after you. Thx xx

  • Sounds like your doctor thinks its a year till they will need banding. Its endoscopy. I have two banded. Mine erupted in the middle of the night two years ago, because I have extremely low platelets and serum sodium level, I almost bled to death, now they are banded, they look at them once a year, endoscopy but so far no new ones and it went well for the ones banded. Its best not to worry. May is not far away. Did they put you on any blood pressure medicine for the varices? Aloha

  • Hi.....just saw people in endoscopy department yesterday so was just told it was a grade one....nothing else was said except a recall in a year.Have emailed specialist nurse so I guess she may make an appointment with consultant sooner.Like you I have very low platelets, but will try not to worry too much- worse things happen.I do have an appointment booked for Thursday at the gps so will ask about it then....but its yet another gp i haven't seen before😒

    Thanks for replying😊..... Am sure specialist nurse will be in touch to explain things......

  • Hi I had numerous banding procedures, defo have the sedation and you will definitely feel uncomfortable for a few days and you will also have a lot of wind for a few days as they pump air into you as they doing procedure, you may also have trouble with constipation for about 3 days. Have you asked why they waiting to do the banding just seems strange after you having a previous bleed

  • When I had the previous bleed they found no varices which seemed odd as threw up a fair bit.Blood doesn't just come from nowhere....Was only told it was a grade one and would be a follow up in a year...Usually a hepatologist is in the clinic, but no one around to ask....Will definitely ask specialist nurse as she knows how much I really dislike endoscopies....They didn't seem worried as it was a grade one.....maybe they band them if they go to a grade 2?

  • Hi earthpixie,

    My understanding is that if the varices are grade 1 and there are no signs they have recently bled or are currently doing so then the Guidelines do not recommend banding as the first choice for treatment. It seems the recommended first choice for treatment is the prescription of the non selective beta blocker Carvedilol or similar which helps to decrease the portal pressure .

    My understanding as et out above is based on my own experience . I have de compensated cirrhosis and when four or five non bleeding varices were discovered during endoscopy procedure more than one year ago that is what I was told by the liver specialist when I asked about banding and what to expect. The specialist did actually set out the Guideline recommendations and first choice for treatment in a letter sent to me so I was in fact able to conduct some research which put my mind at rest. Since that time I have taken low doze Carvedilol without problem.

    I am in fact a person who most clinicians would probably consider is at high risk of the varices bleeding because I do a lot of fairly high intensity physical exercise which as you may know increases portal pressure quite significantly. However the carvedilol appears to be working for me even though it may not be appropriate for everybody with low grade varices despite apparently being the recommended choice of treatment.

    Treatment with non selective beta blocker might be something you may wish to discuss with your own doctors to see if it might work for you .If it will then you could probably put aside any fears or concerns you may have about banding particularly if the need for it is eliminated for an extended period of time or hopefully completely. .

    Best wishes

  • Thanks....i have never been told that activity may increase bleeds.....But will definitely look into beta blockers...currently only on spironolactone and liver is compensated........thanks😁

  • I belong to the liver tansplant center here and they have never told me my 5 to 10 hours a week of endurance exercise will increase portal pressure in fact they tell me that the exercise is likely keeping my liver and other organs functioning. Exercise circulates blood and oxygen, liver disease is about blood, oxygen stagnation. Its a heck of a challenge living with liver disease and now for me, two years of liver cancer but I cannot tell I have cancer. I refused the only TX they offered me for it. Good luck to all of us.

  • Will keep on going to gym till told otherwise...but may avoid weights section😆

  • Totally agree, we must do what we feel is right for our needs. Good luck.

  • I hope you haven't interpretted my response to earthpixie as meaning something that was not intended?

    It was certainly not intended to mean that those with de compensated cirrhosis should not exercise.I agree that exercise circulates blood and oxygen but while being performed it increases cardiac output and higher pressure in the portal veins etc.

    When doctors talk about the benefits of continuing with regular physical exercise they usually mean 'moderate physical exercise' However it seems unlikely that the 5 to10 hours of endurance exercise that you say you do each week ( thats circa what I currrently do each week as well, sometimes more) would be considered as 'moderate'.

    There are plenty of published reliable medical research articles out there that indicate inter alia physical exercise as a risk factor for variceal bleeding in decompensated cirrhosis.However like most of the risks we are told about by the medics etc; while exercise may be a risk factor for variceal bleeding it doesn't necessarily mean that any exercise will result in the varices bleeding. Nevertheless it is probably a risk that has to be considered even if the choice is to ignore it.


  • Thanks for your clarity. I am a female 64 year old cyclist. I am more concerned about flying downhill 25 and 35 miles an hour knowing I have very low platelets but I love cycling. I have simply chosen to live till I die. But I really appreciate every bit of info given to me. I like this site. Its serious that way, its the first real support site I have found, the others are too full of personal issues. I learn lots here. I love exercise and live on the beach on an island so exercising is about what I have left. I am so totally thankful for whatever reasons I can still push till I am exhausted. We need to all be engaged with what we most love in life, our lives are quite fragile. Keep Strong. Aloha

  • Hi, I had 6 grade 2 varicies dealt with between May and September last year. It's over and done with via endoscopy in my case about 10 mins. The varicies are literally banded off to prevent bleeding in the future. Slightly uncomfortable and took about a week for my tummy to settle down but well worth having done as it saved me having a huge bleed. First two I chose a sedative, and the 2nd 4 I chose throat spray. If you choose sedative it means you have to have someone at home with you all night. Throat spray you don't. Either way, I felt the whole procedure but now its done Im much happier.

    best wishes


  • not too bad...had sedative in the past for endoscopies but to be honest they only worked at end of procedure and knocked out for rest of the day....not ideal....will chat to go on Thursday...but not holding out much hope as different gp each visit...thanks 😁

  • Here, they take me into surgery and I am put to sleep. I am thankful for being put to sleep.

  • Would be great if I had a lovely sleep and banding done!!😊

  • I have had 3 endos and the last one was the only one unpainful when I woke. The first one, I had so much gas injected into me that I woke in so much pain, they gave me a bit of morphine to calm it down. And I have a high tolerance to pain! I think it all has to do with the person doing the scope. I guess I will be having one every year now.

  • Yep..was burping away all yesterday...bit of a sore throat..but ok really.was a lady in waiting room and it was her first one ....told her it was not that bad..but to have sedation...glad I had gone before she knew better😁

  • Banding is done during an endoscopy it is like putting elastic bands over the varices to seal them off.

    .I have had it done twice now. .

    once was painless though I insist on sedation not numbing spray...second time was done by a young inexperienced doctor and I was uncomfortable afterwards

    the fact that they aren't going to see you for a year means may not even needed as can go down

    at first I was scoped every 3 months then 6 now yearly and have not needed an further

    ask questions when you see consultant and take someone else with you as you often get so little time you may not remember everything.

    Hoping everything goes well for you.

  • Thanks..will just see what happens and maybe you're right it may not need treatment.Am sure I will be contacted if consultant thinks I need to be seen earlier😁

  • They can also be very dangerous. In march 2013 I vomited unbelievable amount of blood had banding done spent a week in hospital. 2 weeks later same thing again, its absolutely frightening. Then I can remember being discharged then the next thing apart from some really mad dreams and one I swear was not a dream I woke up my Sister was holding my hand telling me I'll be OK now. I had been in a induced coma for 2 weeks and was not expected to survive. Apparently I was found in my living room collapsed in a pool of blood,it took 2 Paramedic teams and a Doctor 40 minutes to resuscitate me. Due to that I suffered Hypoxia which is Brain injury due to oxygen which affects me greatly my short term memory is really bad and I have bout's of confusion and will never work again but I am still here

  • This is my worry...when I did have a bleed 2 years ago....i threw up quite a lot of blood.but it stopped within 10 minutes...phoned gp surgery....he said get to hospital NOW...and it could be day spent in hospital...endoscopy that day found nothing...just remember it was incredibly memory now is am taking this seriously but not panicking..have emailed specialist should hear something back tomorrow.....but thanks for sharing this...have no intention of taking any risks...

  • Many thanks to all that replied😁 Have heard back from hepatology and whilst they have not received a report yet, they know I will need a follow up in a year..They seemed to think it would disappear......think that may be a little its just a wait and see situation...will discuss with gp on Thursday😐

  • Some centre's don't do theraputic banding and a grade 1 varices is the smallest so if you happen to be under one of those centres that is probably the plan just watch and monitor. It is the bigger, nastier looking varices that need banding and they would generally have done that during your endoscopy. Maybe the beta blocker suggestion needs to be looked at if you are now showing signs of portal hypertension.

    My hubby had already had a massive bleed so his consultant took the 'aggressive banding regime' route to remove all of his though his portal hypertension has also now receded following the loss of his spleen.

    Katie x

  • Fortunately in Cambridge so a patient at Addenbrookes....I would have thought all places that perform endoscopies would do banding...but guess not😒

  • No they will all do banding but it varies as to which approach they take to preventative measures - some band aggressively as my hubby had others centres keep a watchful eye and treat with beta blockers. My last post went live before i'd finished it. Now editted with a more complete answer.

  • Thanks😁

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