• We present an experience with 20 patients undergoing interposition mesocaval shunts for decompression of esophageal varices. There were 14 men and six women, ranging in age from 32 to 80 years. Two patients were classified as good risks, nine as moderate risks, and nine as poor risks. There were ten elective operations, seven urgent operations, and three emergency procedures. An operative mortality of 10% was noted in the entire group, with one late death due to shunt occlusion. All deaths occurred in the emergency group. A shunt patency of 88% and minimal problems with postoperative hepatic encephalopathy were noted. The interposition mesocaval shunt is judged to be a safe, technically easy procedure that is currently a satisfactory solution to the problem of hemorrhage from esophageal varices.
(Arch Surg 112:593-595, 1977)