Medical Q&As

Ascites - treatment?

Could you give me some information on ascites and how it is treated?

Ascites is the technical term for an accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity. It is not a specific condition. Ascites can happen as a result of a wide range of medical conditions including cirrhosis, heart failure, pericarditis, malnutrition, nephrotic syndrome, malignant disease, ovarian disease and can also occur as result of chronic dialysis. The treatment of ascites depends on the underlying cause. Most cases respond to salt restriction and the use of diuretics or fluid tablets. In cases of extreme ascites the excess fluid may need to be drained from the peritoneal cavity through the insertion of a special shunt through the abdominal wall.