AIM: To examine the frequency and predictive factors for bowel incarceration following transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) placement to treat refractory cirrhosis-induced ascites. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-nine patients with known hernias at the time of TIPS placement were identified. Their electronic medical records were reviewed and pertinent pre-procedural, procedural, and outcome variables were recorded. Patients were divided between those that suffered incarceration (study group) and a control group of those with a hernia who did not suffer incarceration. RESULTS: Twelve of the 99 patients (12.1%) suffered hernia incarceration, of which seven (7.1%) suffered incarceration in the first 90 days. One patient who suffered incarceration ultimately died from complications of the incarceration. When comparing all patients who suffered incarceration to controls, incarceration patients were found to have significantly higher albumin levels (mean 3.13 versus 2.73, p=0.02). When just considering those who had incarcerations in the first 90 days to controls, incarceration patients were less likely to have improvement in their ascites (p=0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Incarcerated hernias occur frequently after TIPS placement and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Clinicians should be aware of this complication and counsel patients on presenting symptoms prior to placement.
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