Has anyone had severe pain after varice(s) are banded?


Yesterday approx. 14:30 I had an endoscopy and the doctor found a single Grade3 varix. The report reads, "Litigation 2 bands were applied at GOJ and 3 cm above G03." I was ok until around 11:00 today, when I started to have severe pain in my lower neck area above the sternum. The pocket or V shaped place. Not sure of it's anatomical name so bear with me. The pain got worse and worse. This goes off the map. Feels like my neck bones are being crushed and my blood vessels are going to burst. When I called the nurse in the endoscopy dept they said I should go to A&E. So I did. They reassured me. They said where I was having pain was not where the bands were placed. And they said if I can't eat, drink, have breathing probs, vomit or bleed I should come back.

The point of my story is that I am wondering if anyone else had their varices banded and did they notice unbelievable pain? I had other endoscopies and had no side affects. Should the liver trust and others be made aware that this is a possible side effect? They play it down and say your throat will be a little sore for awhile. Ahem. How long does the pain last and what pain medication worked best for you?

15 Replies

  • My husband has terrible pain when eating following banding which can sometimes go on for up to 8 days but it is usually just when eating/drinking. He was told he could take paracetemol for the pain. On one occasion he got a tear in his throat after a particularly rough endoscopy and lost his voice for a week.

    The advice is always as you were told to seek medical attention if anything untoward occurs post procedure. Another thing which one previous poster (Phildad a few years ago) suffered after his endoscopy was that the air they put into him to inflate his 'tubes' didn't release post procedure and a couple of days later he was in chronic pain and had to return to hospital.

    Hope you get some relief from your symptoms a.s.a.p.


  • Thank you for your comment.

  • I had the pain Katie mentions about her husband. Some of the doctors who do this are fairly new at it. They like to inflate us so they have lots of room to make sure the scope does not tear anything going in and down inside of us. My pressure was in my gut and I cried non stop for an hour and I have a high pain threshhold. The doctor who did it finally told the nurses to give me whatever pain meds I wanted. I chose a shot of morphine. It still took another hour before the pain subsided and for two weeks I was in gut pain and hard a horrid time walking, sitting, reclining, resting and I ate broth. The next one I had done my doctor did it. He is older and head of liver transplant physicans. He was excellent, no pain and life was normal afterwards. All you can do is rest and wait. Its very stressful for the mind and body but there is little else that can be done except watching out for the signs the nurses spoke of. I am very sorry for your distress right now. Please ask those around you to help you and wait on you. Catfishjumpin

  • Hi, I had 6 varicies grade 3 banded last year and I remember posting just like you about pain. My throat was sore and stomach pain lasted about a week. Sorry that your suffering but it will subside

    Best wishes

    Julie x

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry for your suffering.

    The pain has gone away with Nurofen. I still wonder if the doctor who carried out the banding has enough experience, because the pain was so severe, beyond belief. I thought the veins were going to burst and I'd die. Have to go back and have another endoscopy in 3 weeks. As you could imagine, I'm not looking forward to it. An understatement.

  • Was the doctor at A&E your liver consultant? And if not. Have you let him know?

    I think it's important to update him/her as well. So they have a record of this, should it happen again?

    Sorry for your pain. I've had 6 or 7 endoscopies with no pain, but my throat was raw on several occasions.

    I had a liver biopsy prior to my shunt and when they took one of the samples it was right next to a vein. I started shaking all over and crying. I was literally in shock for a while. They had to pause while they waited for my body to stop shaking. I couldent help this, and the pain is what sent me spinning. I had heard there would be no pain, nor discomfort. Certainly there was none on the first one.

    They do like to reassure you. Sometimes mistakes are made, or sometimes someone is being trained.

    But overall I would not trade my doctors or hospital for anything in this world.

    They have kept me alive!

    I sure hope you feel better soon!

    Cheering you on!

    Kimberly aka the pickle

  • Hello there our Pickles. Hope your break went well for you both. It,s been quiet without your posts, we missed you.! x x x

  • Hello Kimberley/Pickle,

    I'm sorry to hear about your pain. It's so difficult isn't it. Beyond words.

    No, the A&E doctor was a nurse. I'm sort of in a transition phase in terms of who my liver consultant is, but I spoke to his secretary, who in turn spoke to the doctor who carried out the banding. She said I may experience pain for several weeks and to eat ice cream, soft foods. The horrific pain finally eased when I switched from Paracetamol to Nurofen. It's a much better painkiller. I don't like to take it unless I have to because it tires me out and I've been told it could cause stomach bleeds. I regularly take Amitriptyline for depression but since the doctor told me not to take sleeping pills after the procedure, I skipped it that evening. I think my missed dose could have contributed to the pain. Everybody is different and may respond differently to painkillers but I thought I'd throw it out there.

  • Adrienne - I think I would ask your doctors about which pain killer is best to take. If you are having banding then you have portal hypertension and potential bleeding issues and you shouldn't be taking nurofen which contains IBUPROFEN which has blood thinning properties and could cause really serious bleeding difficulties if a varices was to burst. No cirrhotic patient should really take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) which ibuprofen/nurofen is. Paracetemol (in normal or reduced doses) is the safest pain killer for the liver and indeed it is what my hubby was prescribed in the liver unit for his pain. It is only dangerous to the liver with extended or excessive use or overdose.

  • Thank you for your input Ay.

    Agreed. I shouldn't take NSAIDs. I'm very careful. I have a pill cutter and only take a little, then increase it if the pain is unbearable. The doctor does say to stay away due to the bleeding aspect. But when the pain is so bad I don't care.

  • Good information from Katie and the other contributors. My experience included no pain right through to extreme discomfort, able to eat to very restricted eating. No two occasions were the same.

    Each banding is one step closer to the end of them. Good luck with it.

  • Thank you Patrick. Appreciate your contribution.

  • Hi, thanks for your message. Would you believe it but had an appointment in today's post to have endoscopy and possibly more banding on 20th. This time my hepatologist is doing it at his hospital 2 hours drive away so I'l be on here moaning about pain.lol.

    Best wishes


  • Oh no! Good luck and best wishes.

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