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Health Forum    Respiratory Diseases
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Additional Details...


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Mac S
Ascites: Have you or anyone you know been diagnosed?
...with Ascites?

For those who don't know: Ascites is a sure sign of Cirrhosis of the Liver and/or Severe Liver damage. Abdominal distention is the first sign. Then, Kidneys tend to loose their ability to function.

If you have had or know someone that has had this condition, please tell me about the treatment(s) received.

Plz and Thx
Additional Details
Thanks all

Mike: No, not me, my wife :(...and, yes she's had bouts with alcoholism.
                      









TheMom
Usually supportive therapy is given, and they treat the underlying disease. Sometimes docs will give diuretics (aka water pills) to help keep the fluid levels low also. If the ascites has grown large enough that it causes problems with other organs, such as problems breathing because the large volume of fluid won't let the lungs expand properly, they will remove it with a needle. That's called paracentesis. If the patient has to have many paracentiesis', and they get more and more frequent,that isn't a good sign.
Hope this helped.


Mike
Mac, this is serious. The mom and cookie mom both did a very good job of answering your question. Is the patient and alcoholic? Ascites is usually the result of alcohol abuse. Other liver diseases, as you wrote, may result in the development an ascitic condition.
Paracentesis and diuretics offer some relief, but the retention always returns. The outlook is guarded. I hope, Mac, that you are not describing your own condition. I can only say that the patient should strictly adhere to whatever treatment the attending physician prescribes, and hope for the best. Mike


Bob Dylan ♪
Rating
Water pills will give some relief. Please get help and best of luck.


b_jayne_s
Guess I'm the only one with info past paracentisis and water pills. My sister tried to drink herself to death, I was the one to care for her. The ascites became so bad with her that she was swollen to the point of appearing 9 months preg with triplets. I kid you not.

After many trips to the local hospital to have the fluid drained, we finally got an appointment at a large hospital for surgery. When we got to the hospital, she weighed in at 92 lbs... she's 5'8". THEN they drained another 8 LITERS of fluid from her abdomen! That accounted for approx. 20 lbs of her 92...

The next morning, they did surgery on her liver. They inserted a shunt into her liver to bypass it. It kinda looked like one of those 'Chinese finger cuffs'. It has holes in it so fluid can flow into the liver for processing, but the bulk of the fluids bypass her liver completely.

This worked for her, but it was very scary for a while. She HAD to stop drinking, cause it would kill her without her liver processing the alcohol. We went thru stages of her over drinking water when she was quitting drinking.... it would screw her electrolytes all up and she would get 'drunk' from it.

Several years have passed now, and she is doing well. I praise you for trying to care for your wife. It is harder than anyone can imagine. It takes a strong person to finally realize that you can't do for her.... that she has to do for herself. It takes a strong person to watch your loved one hit bottom all on their own. I hope that things get better for you and her soon!


cookiemonster
not personally, but have nursed patients with this condition. Of course by the time they need hospitalization they are usually quite unwell. Usually an abdominal tap will offer some comfort (I have watched a patient have up to 4 litres drained from them), but the fluid will always return.


Baa Baa
You are not correct that ascites is a sure sign of cirrhosis. There are two conditions that can cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen that requires it to be drained off or "tapped" called paracentesis. One is cirrhosis and the other is ovarian cancer. Ascites can be the first sign that there is a serious problem.

This happened to me when I found out I had cirrhosis. I have primary biliary disease in which my immune system attacks my bile ducts which eventually destroyed my liver with cirrhosis. I never drank or have any viral hepatitis. I was misdiagnosed at first with them telling me they were 99% sure I have malignant ovarian cancer. I didn't. My ovaries were perfectly healthy.

My ascites was controlled with diuretic drugs until I received my transplant. I never needed tapped again once I started taking the diuretics. I was lucky in that regard since many cannot control it with just the meds. They did need to increase my dosages from time to time. I'm doing great today after transplant.

Good luck to your wife. She must never drink again. Whether or not she will eventually need a transplant will depend on how damaged her liver might be when she stopped drinking. If she continues to drink, the liver disease will progress to total liver failure.


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