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Illness & Conditions - Definition

Ascites

Ascites

Ascites is the buildup of fluid in the 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 for severe ascites the fluid may have to be removed with a needle.

Last Revised: January 17, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology

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