McLaren Macomb interventional radiology expands to include TIPS procedure

Dr. Justin Stenz
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.—Interventional radiology at McLaren Macomb, the 288-bed acute care hospital serving all of Macomb County, has expanded its services to include the TIPS procedure to reduce the effects of portal hypertension, a high blood pressure condition in the liver. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a minimally invasive procedure that creates a new blood vessel in the liver to relieve the pressure.

Cirrhosis can lead to high blood pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver. Known as portal hypertension, this condition can lead to a variety of complications, such as internal bleeding, enlarged veins and fluid build-up in the abdomen.

Creating a new blood vessel will aid in relieving the pressure and easing the symptoms associated with the condition.

“Cirrhosis and its resulting symptoms can cause ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and lead to other serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, such as esophageal varices,” said Dr. Justin Stenz, an interventional radiologist at McLaren Macomb. “The TIPS procedure allows us to relieve the underlying condition, reducing the effects of their disease and significantly lowering the patient’s risk of those serious complications.”

Performed by an interventional radiologist, a TIPS procedure is accomplished by first accessing the jugular vein in the neck and placing a catheter to the liver via the hepatic vein. Via the catheter, a needle creates a bypass from the liver’s hepatic vein to its portal vein. Expanded with a balloon, a shunt is positioned in this newly created channel and secured with a stent into the portal vein.

Reducing the pressure in the portal vein greatly reduces the risk of rupture and bleeding of enlarged veins and fluid build-up in the abdomen, which includes fluid around the lungs and chest.

About McLaren Macomb

McLaren Macomb is a 288-bed acute care hospital located in Mount Clemens, Mich. More than 400 physicians and nearly 2,000 employees work at McLaren Macomb making it one of Macomb County’s top employers. McLaren Macomb provides a full range of services, including cancer and cardiovascular care. As Macomb County’s first verified trauma center, the hospital operates the busiest emergency department in Macomb County and is also an accredited chest pain center. McLaren Macomb has a rich history of providing high quality, compassionate health care and holds a strong position in the community it serves. To learn more, visit or follow our blog

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 620,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 employees and more than 85,500 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 350 facilities serving Michigan and Indiana.