The prognosis of esophageal varices depends on the etiologies of the portal HTN leading to the development of varices and also on the liver function status. Decompensated cirrhosis is defined by ascites, variceal bleeding, encephalopathy, and/or jaundice. Patients who have esophageal variceal bleeding have a 1-year overall mortality of 30% to 40%. Patients who have esophageal varices without bleeding or ascites (compensated cirrhosis) have a mortality rate of 3.4% per year. 
Patients with cirrhosis and no varices should have surveillance endoscopy every 2 to 3 years, or yearly if they develop decompensated cirrhosis.
Patients who have cirrhosis and small varices should have repeat endoscopy every 1 to 2 years.
Patients on beta-blocker treatment for prevention of variceal bleeding do not need surveillance endoscopy.
Patients should participate in prevention strategies that improve their liver function. Self-help management is dependent on the etiology of the portal HTN. For example, patients with alcoholic liver disease need to take responsibility in reduction and/or cessation of alcohol use, especially when they have had an episode of variceal bleeding. In most other etiologies of portal HTN, patient education is also an important aspect of ongoing management.