Endoscopic Band Ligation

Esophageal varices are abnormal blood vessels (veins) that develop in the esophagus. They have abnormally thin walls, and the blood pressure within them is very high. This combination makes esophageal varices very dangerous, because they can burst and cause life-threatening bleeding. Endoscopic band ligation is the use of elastic bands to treat the varices. It is done as part of an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.

  • Call Your Doctor


    Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Bleeding from the mouth
    • Increasing pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Bloody vomit
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Lightheadedness or weakness
    • Bloody or dark black stools
    • Severe abdominal pain

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Esophageal varices
    are abnormal blood vessels (veins) that develop in the esophagus. They have abnormally thin walls, and the blood pressure within them is very high. This combination makes esophageal varices very dangerous, because they can burst and cause life-threatening bleeding.


    Endoscopic band ligation is the use of elastic bands to treat the varices. It is done as part of an
    upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy.

    Banded Blood Vessel
    band ligation
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure is done to prevent or treat bleeding from esophageal varices (enlarged veins). If left untreated, varices could rupture and bleed severely.

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Painful swallowing
    • Bleeding
    • Esophageal damage
    • Infection


    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Alcoholism
    • Bleeding disorder
    • Active bleeding
    • Advanced age
    • Heart or lung problems
    • Use of certain medicines
    • Smoking