Ascites: Overview

Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. It may cause abdominal distention (abdominal swelling), pressure on the internal abdominal organs, and difficulty breathing (due to pressure on the diaphragm muscle). The cause is usually a serious disorder of the heart, lungs, or liver (including cancers). Treatment may include fluid removal (paracentesis) and treatment of any underlying disease.

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