What is it?
Ascites is a condition in which an excess amount of fluid collects in the abdomen. Typically this occurs as a result of cirrhosis, heart failure, kidney disease, or cancer.
What are the symptoms?
Typically as more fluid builds in the abdomen, patient’s will experience abdominal fullness, abdominal distention (when the abdomen swells with fluid), this may cause abdominal discomfort, weight gain, fatigue, swelling in lower extremities, and in extreme cases fluid can migrate to the lungs causing difficulty breathing.
How is it diagnosed?
Ascites is commonly diagnosed via ultrasound or CT scan when your medical provider notices abdominal distention.
How is it treated?
Ascites is commonly treated via paracentesis (needle inserted into the abdomen to remove fluid). A diagnostic abdominal paracentesis removes fluid and can be tested to help confirm the cause of Ascites. Whether that be from cirrhosis, infection, cancer, heart failure, etc.
Are there any complications?
Typically the complications increased risk of infection, abdominal discomfort, and kidney disease.