Varices in spleen: After being told that... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
20,958 members11,098 posts

Varices in spleen


After being told that I won't see a specialist until november about my cirrhosis diagnosis I have arranged to see a gastroenterologist at 6pm tonight. My gp hadn't seen the liver ultrasound report just a letter from the haematologist who referred me for it. After numerous phone calls to the xray department I asked them to fax a copy to my gp

He has just rung me and it seems that the issue is more the spleen. Apparently there are varices within the speen. Thank goodness I'm seeing the specialist tonight, I can't cope with the not knowing much longer.

7 Replies

Good luck bridesmaid, the not knowing is horrible. Xxxx

Bridesmum...sorry predictive. Xxx

Hi bridesmum, I have exactly the same. I have Pbc, compensated cirrhosis, and portal hypertension and enlarged spleen with large varices on the spleen, also a number of hemangiomas and nodules on the liver. I have seen specialists at local transplant satellite clinic and the professor I saw didn't seem unduly worried about the varices. I think when they are in the oesophagus they are more susceptible to damage and therefore bleeds. I was given a endoscopy to check for that, which at the time was clear.

I hope you get some reassurance, and if you haven't had an endoscopy that they offer you that to rule out or treat varacies.

I'd be interested to hear if your doctor advises anything other than this.

Best wishes, stay well.


in reply to Wass71

The consultant said that varices in the spleen are less dangerous than in the esophagus and are less likely to bleed. I had the liver ultrasound on the 28th june and a gastroscopy and colonoscopy on the 30th june. The two scopes were clear but the ultrasound picked up the spleen varices. Apparently there are several meters of intestines which can't be reached by scope so I will have a ct scan to check that out. I will also have a blood test to check if it's autoimmune as I have other autoimmune conditions. I need to keep my diabetes well controlled and watch my weight as these conttibute to fatty liver. I had to pay privately for this evenings consultation but every thing else will be at my local hospital on the nhs. I tend to have low blood pressure, does this make any difference to the portal hypertension?


Glad you got some answers and hopefully they will get to the bottom of your cirrhosis cause. As regards portal hypertension and low blood pressure - my hubby had generally low blood pressure and yet still had PH so not really any correlation.

PH is due to the blood in the portal vein being unable to pass through the damaged liver - like a river gradually getting dammed, the blood has to go somewhere so it backs up and looks for alternative routes leading to it going into smaller blood vessels which were never designed to carry this increased volume and that's what causes them to bulge outwards into what are know as varices.


in reply to GrandmaDylan

Hi Deb, I asked my consultant that question as I was put on nadalol rather than the usual propanalol as it is thought to be less likely to cause dizziness when bp falls etc. As my bp is usually low I thought I'd be relatively protected, after all that is what they are trying to achieve using beta blockers. However it appears that itself is now under medical scrutiny. Some say there is no advantage to the use of beta blockers and an aggressive schedule of observation and banding varices is more effective. Therefore there is no indication naturally low bp will prevent varices forming. As such I was advised to stop taking them ( they were prescribed due to painful bloating in the stomach area, particularly when I ate, thought to be caused by blood supply to the area being congested by the PH).

However in those whose BP is already high the pressure in all the vessels is higher therefore likely to be even worse in the portal vein and surrounding vessels so that may be why these drugs are still used to help the circulation as a whole and in turn reduce this additional pressure ( this is my assumption - thinking it through logically).

Hope you feel more reassured by your private consultation, and that the NHS tests come through quickly.

Best wishes


Hi..sorry to hear your problems...yeah I am the same with constant pain on my left side lower down..since my varices ruptured in July condition has worsened...can't put weight on.. I'm under a consultant at aintree hospital... but I'm continuing not drinking,as it makes me so unwell...

You may also like...