A gradual or sudden build-up of fluid in your abdomen is referred to as Ascites. This usually causes swelling and may develop over a few weeks. In some instances, we notice it can also happen in just a few days. Liver disease is among the most common cause of ascites. Infections with the hepatitis B or C virus (“Kala Pelia”) are also among probable causes. Some GI cancers and TB could also lead to Ascites.
A visible sign of Ascites that a patient could notice is when clothes suddenly get tighter on your body with weight gain and feeling of stretching of the flanks. Ascites is quite uncomfortable and is often associated with symptoms like fatigue, nausea, breathlessness, and loss of hunger. Some patients also experience frequent urination and constipation.
A gastroenterologist at Care hospital, Bathinda will make a comprehensive clinical examination, if you develop any symptoms, as mentioned here. If required, our consultant may also advise you some blood investigations, Ultrasound and analysis of the abdominal fluid. All of these facilities are available in house at the Care hospital. Pertinently, Ascites is a symptom of another underlying cause, and our investigations are aimed to pin down the exact cause.
Dr. Gursewak Singh – Senior Gastroenterologist, will supervise your line of treatment. Depending upon the cause, it can be treated with various medicines or tapping of abdominal fluid. If cirrhosis has caused Ascites, we advise our patients to reduce the intake of salt and take water tablets -diuretics. This leads patients to pass urine more frequently and prevents further fluid retention. However, certain types of Ascites are resistant to diuretics. In more critical cases, a liver transplant may be the best option. Other treatments of ascites include Paracentesis - here, our clinician will drain off the excess liquid by inserting the needle into your abdomen.
Yet another alternative is Shunts. If the ascites is caused by cancer, we use a shunt (tube) to move the fluid from the abdomen into the bloodstream. Chemotherapy is also used to manage various cancerous cases of ascites.