Esophageal varices usually don't cause signs and symptoms unless they bleed. Signs and symptoms of bleeding esophageal varices include:
- Vomiting large amounts of blood
- Black, tarry or bloody stools
- Loss of consciousness in severe cases
Your doctor might suspect esophageal varices if you have signs of liver disease, including:
- Yellow coloration of your skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms that worry you. If you've been diagnosed with liver disease, ask your doctor about your risk of esophageal varices and what you can do to reduce your risk. Also ask your doctor whether you should get a procedure to check for esophageal varices.
If you've been diagnosed with esophageal varices, your doctor is likely to instruct you to watch for signs of bleeding. Bleeding esophageal varices are an emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency services right away if you have bloody vomit or bloody stools.