Although endoscopic sclerotherapy and TIPS remain the primary therapeutic tools in management of acute variceal bleeding, surgical shunts must be considered for low-risk patients with bleeding. OLTx is the only definitive treatment for patients with end-stage liver disease and vascular decompensation. Furthermore, the current prospective multicenter randomized study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and Human Services, will help determine the role of DSRS versus TIPS in cirrhotic patients with good hepatic reserve. This is a necessity in a time in which organ shortages are ever-increasing because of a growing disparity between the number of patients listed for transplantation each year versus the number of suitable organ donors. The various surgical techniques should be applied in different situations based on patients' clinical status at the time of the bleed and whether they are considered candidates for liver transplantation.
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