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Does draining of ascites shorten life?

If ascites are treated by the removal of enough fluid directly from the abdomen by needle puncture to ease discomfort and breathing is there any danger that doing so will deplete protein levels which I heard are  stored in the retention fluid.  Can draining be done more than once?  If so how many times and does it mean inevitable death by doing so?  My brother has Hep.C and this is what he is being told.  I have not been able to find any information and am despererate for some expert help.  Can he have some (OR ALL) fluid drained without it meaning his weeks are numbered?  Please please please help me find the answers to these questions.  He is in so much discomfort and is ready to give up. Thank you in advance from a desperate but hopeful sister.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
HI, I'M SORRY TO HERE ABOUT YOUR BROTHER,  I DON'T POST OFTEN BUT I THOUGHT I COULD GIVE YOU A LITTLE INFO, I LOST MY BROTHER TO HEPC 2YR'S AGO. WHEN WE STARTED TAKING HIM TO THE HOSPITAL WITH ASCITES, THEY TOLD US THAT HE WOULD NEED TO BE DRAINED TO KEEP HIM COMFORTABLE, AND WE NEEDED TO0 BE CAREFUL AND WATCH WHAT HE ATE. NO SODIUM . WE REALLY HAD TO WATCH HIS SALT INTAKE. DR'S TOLD US THE MORE TIMES THEY DRAINED HIM THE WORSE IT WAS FOR HIM . HE WOULD BE MORE PRONE TO INFECTION NEAR DRAIN SITES , I WOULD REALLY TRY TO WATCH HIS DIET, NO FAST FOOD , HOME COOKED WITH NO SALT . I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU MORE BUT I DON'T REALLY KNOW MUCH . WE ONLY NEW MY BROTHER WAS SICK FOR ABOUT 3 MONTHS.   MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU .  JILL
Avatar universal
Although I am certainly not an expert, I can tell you of my and my husbands experience with his ascites and abdomen taps. He was in the hospital and must have received at least 5 of them. Never were we told that this procedure would/could shorten his life, on the contrary, we welcomed them. His breathing had become very difficult and he was so swollen that if he was to get any sleep at all, it had to be done sitting up. The relief was totally worth it. Yes, there is a chance of infection (as with any procedure), but ascites can become infected also so it is a **** shoot.

Is your brother in the hospital? Is he on the transplant list? If he is hospitalized they will watch his salt intake and I assume prescribe dieretics also. This was my husbands case. It sounds like Jill's brother wasn't in the hospital and honestly, I wouldn't think a person in that kind of trouble would be at home. Personally, I would want to be in hospital and go for the taps if recommended, sounds like it is necessary.

Good luck Keeper, and don't let him give up. My husband received his new liver November 17 and is doing wonderfully, we are living again.

Mattie
Avatar universal
I live in the UK and work on a Gastro ward. Over here when ascietes are drained the patient is given an Albumen infusion to replace the lost protein.
Best wishes
Joanna
Avatar universal
I am going through much of what you are experiencing for the past 6 months. My 52 year old husband has been drained approx. 15 times having approx 10 pounds of fluid taken out every 4 days. We have never been told that this would/could cause shorter life expectancy.  I too would like to know from others if death is a common reality that goes along with this procedure.  It is such a relief for him when he is drained.  He is really watching his sodium count. He has no fat on him and is all skin and bones.
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