Ascites

Ascites

Ascites occurs when fluid accumulates in the abdomen. This buildup occurs between two membrane layers that together make up the peritoneum, a smooth sac that contains the body's organs. It is usual to have a small amount of fluid in the peritoneum cavity.
This fluid buildup causes swelling that usually develops over a few weeks, although it can also happen in just a few days. Ascites is very uncomfortable and causes nausea, tiredness, breathlessness, and a feeling of being full. Liver disease is the most common cause of ascites. Other causes typically include cancer and heart failure.


Fast facts about ascites

  • Ascites is a symptom of another underlying cause.
  • Abdominal swelling and associated weight gain are typical symptoms of ascites.
  • Prognosis and outlook of ascites depend on the underlying condition.
  • Assessment of the progress of ascites may be made by regularly measuring the abdominal girth and by monitoring weight.


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