, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 279-285
Date: 19 Mar 2011

Surgery for Portal Hypertension in Children

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Management of children with portal hypertension has evolved considerably over the past decades. Development of physiologic shunts (meso-Rex bypass) and successful liver transplant has changed the paradigm of portal hypertension surgery. Children with pre-hepatic portal hypertension are investigated and, if suitable, candidates are offered the mesenteric-to-left portal vein bypass (meso-Rex) preemptively, before development of symptoms of portal hypertension. Aggressive medical management, endoscopic ligation of bleeding varices, and radiologically placed intrahepatic stents have greatly reduced the need for emergent surgical procedures. A larger number of surgical options offer a permanent solution for children with portal hypertension in the setting of well-compensated liver function. Portal hypertension in the setting of decompensated liver disease is managed medically (via endoscopy) or radiologically (via transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) with the aim to offer liver transplant as a permanent solution.