Ascites (Excess Abdominal Fluid); Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Surgical care

Surgeries for ascites are broadly classified into palliative and curative. Palliative surgeries or interventions aim at decreasing the pressure within the portal venous circulation, which predisposes to ascites, while the only curative surgery is liver transplantation.

TIPS: Trans jugular intraperitoneal portosystemic shunt is one of the commonest done procedures to relieve portal hypertension. It basically means creating an alternative shortcut for blood to pass from the portal circulation to the systemic circulation, bypassing the liver. This procedure has one marked complication, which is the acceleration of nervous system damage usually present in advanced liver disease, and that is why it is a temporary damage.

Liver transplantation: Liver transplantation is the ultimate treatment of advanced liver disease and can reverse most liver problems a few weeks after it is performed. Unfortunately, not all patients are candidate for the surgery, and some may be kept on medical treatment as a palliative measures.

Written by Martin Davis