The TIPS procedure is usually performed in patients with liver cirrhosis. If you have this condition, your normal blood flow through the liver is blocked by scar tissue within the liver, which increases the pressure in your portal vein.
The increased pressure in your portal vein makes thin veins in your gullet or stomach become abnormally enlarged and so at the risk of bleeding. Another symptom of liver cirrhosis is an abnormal collection of fluid (ascites) in the abdominal cavity.
You may be advised to undergo TIPS if you have varices that bleed acutely or recurrently and have not responded to other treatments.
Once the interventional radiologist has placed the shunt, the pressure in the portal vein decreases, protecting the area from bleeding and reducing the ascites.