Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
Ascites (Fluids in the Abdomen)
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Ascites (Fluids in the Abdomen)

My father has a history of Alcohol abuse when he was young. he also has infections of Hep B and C. I'm afraid that these cause Cirrhosis that he hasn't paid attention to. There is no other serious symptoms yet, but lately I his abdominal area (stomach) is so big. sort of like fluid builds up. I would like to know if this is actually a complication of Cirrhosis. does Ascites associates with pain? because he does have a big fluid stomach. but he doesn't feel any pain at the moment. I'm just kinda worried. Please help me explain this...thank you very much.
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446474_tn?1404424777
Ascites is one complication of advanced cirrhosis otherwise known as End- Stage Liver Disease (ESLD). Ascites is a very serious condition. The fluid in the abdomen can become infected and be life-threatening. He has irreversible liver disease. If left untreated it is fatal. All people with ascites should be evaluated for liver transplant.

"does Ascites associates with pain?"
When the abdomen becomes full and looks like he is pregnant he will have problems breathing and eating because the fluid takes up all the space in the abdomen. Also when he walks you will probably here the sloshing around of the fluid.

The symptoms of ascites can include:

Abdominal swelling
Rapid weight gain
Abdominal discomfort/pain
Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath
Leg or ankle swelling
Enlargement of the breasts
Bruises easily

He needs to be under the care of a hepatologist (liver specialist) at a liver transplant center. Ascites can be controlled through diet and diuretics.

Find a liver transplant center near where he lives and get an appointment for your father to be evaluated for transplant. His liver disease will only get worse with time and he will have more life-threatening complications.

Good luck!
Hector
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks a lot for the detail. In case it is ascites, how long does it develop before my fater could feel other symptoms such as loss of breath, nausea, pain, or bruising?? And does the floshing of the fluid inside the ascitic abdomen loud enough to be heard frequently?? Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks a lot for the detail. In case it is ascites, how long does it develop before my fater could feel other symptoms such as loss of breath, nausea, pain, or bruising?? And does the floshing of the fluid inside the ascitic abdomen loud enough to be heard frequently?? Thanks
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446474_tn?1404424777
Ascites is the most common early complication of cirrhosis and liver failure. In order to have ascites the patient will already have cirrhosis, portal hypertension and other complications such as scarring and nodular growths on the liver, an enlarged spleen, low platelet count and perhaps swelling on the low legs, ankles and feet. It significantly impairs the quality of life of patients with cirrhosis and is associated with poor prognosis, 1-year and 5-year survival rates of 85% and 56%, respectively.

There are three Grades of ascites.

Grade 1 is mild ascites and is only detectable by ultrasound examination.

Grade 2 is moderate ascites causing moderate symmetrical distension of the abdomen.

Grade 3 is large ascites (also known as "tense" ascites) causing marked abdominal distension. Nausea and appetite suppression can occur. Breathing can be very difficult. Fluid can heard. Tense ascites is very uncomfortable (no position is comfortable) but prior to this stage there is simply abdominal distension with only very mild discomfort. High abdominal pressure may push out an umbilical hernia (above the belly button) or even an inguinal hernia (on the sides of the penis). So most of us have hernias.

Ascites grade 2 or 3 can be detected by any gastroenterologist by a physical examine. All ultrasounds will see even Grade 1 ascites.

To learn more go to http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Ascites.htm.

Good luck.
Hector
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