GARRY WATSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARRY WATSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ascites. Side view of a man's distended abdomen, showing the condition of ascites. The abdomen is severely swollen with fluid. The fluid has collected in the peritoneal cavity between the internal organs and the abdominal wall. Ascites is often seen in alcoholic cirrhosis, caused by high consumption of alcohol, and the patient may otherwise also be overweight. The condition is compounded by portal hypertension. Ascites is also seen in cases of heart or kidney failure. It may occur in cancer, when secondary growths spread to the abdominal wall. Treatment may include diuretic drugs, fluid and salt restriction, and sometimes drainage of the fluid.
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