The doctor will give you a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. They may perform a variety of tests, including blood work, an ultrasound, or a CT scan.
If they think you have ascites, the doctor will use a needle to remove fluid from your belly for testing. This procedure is called a paracentesis. It will help the doctor find out what is causing your condition so they can treat it properly.
In most cases of ascites, the doctor will refer you to a liver specialist, who may discuss a liver transplant.
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The doctor may prescribe “water pills,” also called diuretics, to help flush the extra fluid from your body. Two of the most common diuretics are:
• Furosemide (Lasix)
• Spironolactone (Aldactone)
They both help your kidneys remove more sodium and water.
If changes in your diet and prescription diuretics do not help, or your symptoms are severe, your doctor may have to use paracentesis to remove large amounts of excess fluid through a needle inserted into your belly. When you have this done, you have to follow a low salt, low-liquid diet; otherwise, the fluid will come back.
If these treatments do not work, you may need a surgery to place a shunt in your liver or replace it altogether.