Ascites occurs when there is a buildup of abnormal fluid inside the abdominal cavity (the belly). Healthline notes an abnormal amount of fluid is anything more than 25-milliliters. It’s often the symptom of another cause, such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and usually occurs when the liver begins to fail. Other causes include cancer and heart failure.
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It is a serious health risk that develops when the liver is not working properly. When the liver stops working, “fluid fills the space between the abdominal lining and the organs,” writes Healthline. This is often the case in advanced liver disease which means patients should be referred to a specialist for a potential liver transplant. The survival rate after ascites develops is 30- to 40-percent.
If you suspect you have ascites, talk to a doctor immediately. In the meantime, here’s more information on the condition and everything to know about ascites.
What is Ascites?
Ascites is the result of fluid buildup in the abdomen, and according to WebMD, is often caused by liver disease. Whenever there is fluid buildup in the body, it causes swelling which is exactly what happens with ascites. The belly will become swollen and distended.
“This buildup occurs between two membrane layers that together make up the peritoneum, a smooth sac that contains the body’s organs,” explains Medical News Today. “It is unusual to have a small amount of fluid in the peritoneum cavity.”