Bleeding Esophageal Varices
Alternate Names : Esophageal Variceal Rupture, Esophageal Variceal Bleeding, Esophageal Variceal Hemorrhage
Esophageal varices are unusually widened veins around the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. These veins may sometimes bleed.
What is going on in the body?
Esophageal varices usually form because of a serious liver disease called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver can interfere with blood circulation. This leads to increased pressure in the veins around the esophagus. Over time, these veins widen due to the pressure. When the walls of the veins get stretched too much, the veins can break and allow blood to enter the esophagus.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
The main cause of bleeding esophageal varices is cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis normally occurs because of long-term alcohol abuse. It can also be caused by hepatitis, a viral infection of the liver.