What is band ligation of esophageal varices?
Endoscopy band ligation is used to treat enlarged veins in the esophagus, the tube connecting the throat to the stomach. If left untreated esophageal veins (varices) can spontaneously rupture and cause severe bleeding.
How is band ligation performed?
The procedure is performed during an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. A local anesthetic is given to numb the throat and sedation medication will also be given through IV to help you relax/sleep through the procedure.
A scope is placed in the mouth down to the esophagus. When varices are found, tiny elastic bands are placed around the enlarged veins in the esophagus to tie them off so they can’t bleed. The banded varices are then eventually sloughed after a few days and the esophagus is much less likely to bleed after it’s healed.