A patient is scheduled to undergo an upper GI endoscopy for the diagnosis of esophageal varices. The nurse explains to the patient that esophageal varices:


• Esophageal varices are dilated sub-mucosal veins in the esophagus. They are a consequence of portal hypertension caused by cirrhosis.

• Esophageal varices are treated by banding, ligation, or sclerotherapy via endoscopy.

• Esophageal varices can have many complications, such as excessive bleeding and infection.

• Esophageal varices do not increase the risk of heart failure.

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