Doctor taking blood pressure of patient.

Endoscopic Variceal Ligation Banding

At Providence, we understand the need for effective, minimally-invasive treatment to help you recover as painlessly and comfortable as possible. Endoscopic variceal ligation uses innovative technology to address enlarged esophageal varices with fewer complications and faster recovery than past methods.

Endoscopic variceal ligation, or endoscopic band ligation, is a procedure that uses elastic bands to treat enlarged veins, or varices, in your esophagus. These abnormal veins develop in the esophagus and have thin walls with high blood pressure running through them. If not treated, the veins may rupture and cause serious bleeding.

You should not eat at least eight hours before the procedure. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking medications including aspirin, blood thinners or antiplatelets one week prior to the procedure.

This procedure is performed as part of an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. You will be given medicine through an IV to help you relax. Your throat may be sprayed with numbing anesthetic before the endoscope, a thin flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, is inserted into your mouth and passed down to your esophagus. 

Using a monitor, your doctor is able to locate and view the enlarged veins. Then instruments are passed down the scope and bands are placed around the vein to stop blood supply.

With the band in place, the vein sloughs away in a few days to weeks, and your esophagus heals.

You should arrange for transportation home since you will not be able to drive due to drowsiness from the sedative and pain medications. You should refrain from any strenuous activity for 24 hours after the procedure.


It is normal for your throat to feel irritated or sore after the procedure.

Despite the unlikelihood of a complication occurring, this procedure does carry its risks. These include infection, return of bleeding, a puncture in the wall of the esophagus, sores in the esophagus, and narrowing of the esophagus. 

When you partner with Providence for your procedure, you can rest easy knowing your care team has the skill and experience necessary to reduce your risk of complication.