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Ascites

Cross-section of organs in abdomen, showing normal abdomen and abdomen with extra fluid (ascites)

Ascites (say "uh-SY-teez") is the buildup of fluid in the belly (abdomen).

Many diseases can cause ascites, including liver disease and some cancers.

Ascites can be uncomfortable. The extra fluid also can cause your belly to swell and make it hard for you to breathe. The condition usually is treated with medicine and diet. But the fluid may have to be removed with a needle for severe ascites.

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Michel M. Murr MD - General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery

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