2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Ascites is a common complication of cirrhosis of the liver and metastatic cancer in the abdomen. The build-up of fluid causes the abdomen to swell and may lead to discomfort, difficulty breathing, fatigue, nausea and poor appetite.
2.2 Medical treatment with sodium restriction and diuretics is used in many patients. For patients with treatment-resistant or recurrent ascites, treatment options include large-volume paracentesis, albumin infusion and insertion of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts. These procedures may be used to support a patient before liver transplantation.