Emergency and elective surgical treatment of portal hypertension. A review of 23 years' experience.Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1975 Sep; 57(3):148-58.AR
A retrospective review of surgical treatment for portal hypertension during a 23-year period in a regional unit is reported and the immediate and subsequent management of patients with bleeding oesophageal varices is discussed. Fifty-four patients with recurrent varix haemorrhage uncontrolled by conservative methods have been treated by oesophageal transection with a mortality of 22.2% (26.6% for cirrhotic patients). Thirty-two per cent of the cirrhotics were alive after 2 years. Only a minority (12%) of the survivors were considered suitable for a subsequent shunt procedure. Therapeutic portacaval anastomosis has been performed on 65 patients with a 51.2% 5-year survival (43-5% for cirrhotic patients). Further haemorrhage due to shunt thrombosis occurred in 5-3% of cases. The frequent occurrence of portal-systemic encephalopathy, increasing with duration of time following a shunt, is emphasized. The high morbidity and mortality in the poor-risk cirrhotic indicated that this type of patient is unsuitable for a portal-systemic shunt and is better treated by medical means.