Ascites Facts and Medical Terms


Ever heard of the word ascites? Well, your answer could be yes or no. But there are chances that you probably have heard it before but can’t remember what it’s all about. Well, ascites is actually the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. A few people know this fact but the majority have no idea what the other facts about ascites are. In fact, people tend to mix up some of the medical terms that are associated with ascites. We’re here to help you out today. We will be looking at some of the ascites medical terms. At the same time, we will be looking at some of the facts about ascites that you need to know about.

The truth is that facts about a thing give us a better understanding of what that thing is. At the same time, it helps us have a better idea as to other things that are related to it. One thing you must know is that ascites does not stand alone. There are many other things associated with ascites. And we will be looking at some of them today. So if you want to find out some interesting things about ascites you have to keep scrolling. That’s the only way you wouldn’t miss out on this juicy information.

Facts About Ascites You Need to Know

1. Ascites is a symptom that occurs as a result of an underlying problem

There are actually many conditions that can cause ascites. Such conditions are tuberculosis, pancreatitis, and problems with the kidney. These are some of the minor causes of the condition. The three main causes of ascites happen to be cancer, heart failure, and cirrhosis.

2. Typical symptoms of ascites happen to be swelling of the abdomen and weight gain

There are actually many symptoms associated with ascites. Let’s take a look at some of them. Ascites is frequently associated with pain, nausea, tiredness, urinary urgency, loss of appetite, and breathlessness. It could also cause bloating as well as back pain. All these, in the end, would lead to the decreased motility of the patient.

3. Paracentesis is a procedure used for diagnosing ascites

This is a procedure wherein the ascitic fluid is gotten from the abdomen. In this procedure, a needle is used for getting the fluid. Then the fluid is sent to the lab for evaluation. At the lab, they carry out tests like total protein, albumin, cell cultures, and cell counts. This is so that they would be able to clearly state where the source of the fluid is.

4. Ascites can lead to certain complications

The buildup of fluid in the abdomen could lead to a bacterial infection. And this infection is known as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. This is one infection that comes with pain and fever. It is known to often recur that’s why doctors give long-term antibiotics to their patients.

5. One of the most common causes of ascites happens to be cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is actually a liver problem that happens when liver disease is quite advanced. Liver cirrhosis and ascites are not early results of the liver disease. They are end-stage results. Over time, the patient can start to experience difficulty in breathing, walking, and eating. All these can happen if there is fluid accumulation around the lungs. Another thing that you could find in patients is swollen ankles.

6. There are certain risk factors that increase the risk of having ascites

According to statistics, about 80% of patients with liver cirrhosis would develop ascites. Also, people that have hepatitis are at increased risk of having ascites. The risk among hepatitis patients is more common in patients with hepatitis B and C. Too much alcohol intake can also increase the risk of a person having ascites.

7. When it comes to dealing with ascites lifestyle changes are important

There are certain lifestyle changes that can help with treating ascites. One is to stay away from alcohol. Another one is to opt for diets that are low in sodium. Also, medications like ibuprofen should not be used. Once you see that you have symptoms of ascites then you should go see a doctor for medical intervention first.

8. The cause of the ascites would determine the medical treatment option

As mentioned earlier, there are different causes of ascites. And different causes would actually need different treatment methods. that’s why diagnosis is very important. With a diagnosis, the doctor would have an idea of what exactly the problem is. And then the doctor would be able to tackle the problem with the right option available.

Ascites Medical Terms

  • Ascites: This is the building up of fluid in the abdomen. This is actually a symptom that occurs due to an underlying problem. It could over days or just weeks. The most common causes happen to be liver cirrhosis and heart failure.
  • Cirrhosis: This is a condition wherein the liver does not function well anymore. This is usually due to long-term damage to the liver. In this condition, the normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. This causes the liver to be hardened and smaller in size. It could occur over months or years.
  • Paracentesis: This is a procedure wherein either a catheter or needle is used in getting fluid from the abdomen. The fluid gotten could be for two purposes. It could either be for diagnosis or for therapeutic purposes.
  • Hepatitis: This is also a condition of the liver. It is simply the inflammation of the liver. This can occur as a result of many things. But the most common happens to be because of viral infections. It could also be as a result of alcohol, drugs and toxins.
  • Diuretics: This is a mode of treatment for ascites. This is a drug that allows for diuresis which is the increased production of urine. One thing diuretics does is that it increases the excretion of water from the body. So the excess fluid accumulated in the abdomen can be excreted with the use of diuretics.
  • Liver transplant: This is option doctors opt for when the liver is completely damaged. In this procedure, a whole liver or partial liver is transplanted to a person. And this is a treatment method for liver diseases.

All these are common ascites medical terms that would help you out when you’re trying to find out more about ascites.

Ascites Medical Terms

You May Also Like

Cirrhosis Lab Values: Understanding Liver Function Test Result
Cirrhosis Histology Assessment