1How is Ascites diagnosed?
In many cases ascites is incidently detected when an ultrasound or CT scan is done for other reason. Based on symptoms like fullness in abdomen and after clinical exam, your physician may oder a ultrasound or CT scan to diagnose ascites.
2What is the treatment for aciites?
Mainstay for treatment of ascites is the treatment of underlying cause. In case of acites due to advanced liver failure or cirrhosis of the liver, patients must stop all alcohol consumption as well as drugs that damage the liver.
Multiple options in varoius combination are used to reduce fluid accumulation like:
Restricting sodium (salt) intake.
Diuretic therapy (water pills) to excrete extra sodium and water.
For those not responding to above treatment, large volume.
Therapeutic paracentesis (using a local anesthetic to insert a needle through the abdominal wall) may be used.
Patients will be closely monitored by their physician to track body.
Weight, kidney function and levels of sodium and potassium in the blood during all above treatments.
3Does anything happen if there is fluid but I have no other symptoms?
Your physician may perform a diagnostic abdominal paracentesis to draw out a small amount of fluid to be used in lab tests that may help find (or confirm) the source of the Ascites. Depending on the results, these tests may point to liver or heart failure, infection or cancer, bacterial infection, tuberculosis or, in rare cases, pancreatic disease. In the case of infection, lab results also are used to determine the most appropriate antibiotic to use for treatment.
4Are there other complications?
The symptoms of Ascites can be very distressing and interfere with your quality of life. The condition may also put you at risk for infection and kidney disease.
5Is Ascites a serious condition?
The accumulated fluid is not life-threatening, but it is an indicator of advanced liver disease or other serious, potentially life-threatening underlying conditions.