Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Ascites and Cirrhosis
Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) is the most common major complication of cirrhosis. But it's important to get treatment. People who have alcoholic cirrhosis may develop ascites early in the course of liver disease. Those who have other forms of cirrhosis, such as that caused by viral hepatitis, may develop ascites much later. The things that cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen are complex, but high blood pressure in the portal vein system of the liver (portal hypertension) is an important contributor to its development.
Treatment for ascites depends on the cause.
About 90 out of 100 people with ascites caused by cirrhosis respond to treatment with a low-salt diet and medicines (diuretics) that eliminate extra fluid from the body.
Paracentesis is a procedure used to collect and remove some of the fluid to help determine what is causing it to build up. Having ascites may lead to:
Therapeutic paracentesis may be used if you have cirrhosis and you:
You may also need additional treatments such as:
Current as ofMarch 27, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineW. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
Current as of:
March 27, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.