Ascites or Swollen Liver?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/27/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
The doctor has said that the abdominal swelling that my Auntie has is not Ascites, but is the result of the liver being swollen. This surprised me as I had imagined a small shrivelled up liver. All my trawling across the internet seems to mention Ascites more than this swelling. She looks heavily pregnant, and says it is tight. She has had fluid drained before - a few weeks ago now.
Do you guys know anything about this?
They have sent her home this week, by the way, as there is no treatment they can do at a hospital. My mother is looking after her, which is a full time job due to her very poor physical state, malnutrition and high level of confusion.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 2/27/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
BigToe, which doctor was this?  A hepatologist?  We cannot really second-guess the doctor.  Some liver patients do have enlarged livers.  Since your aunt has previously been drained, that indicates ascites.  You might want to get a second opinion, especially if she is in a lot of discomfort.

Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 613
   Posted 2/27/2009 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   

I am so sorry your Aunt is uncomfortable. My husband has a verry distended belly (he looks 10 months pregnant) and he has neverr had any ascites show up. His liverr is very enlarged, which was alarming to me as well.....but, this crazy disease affects everyone differently. If she has had fluid drained before, I would definitely double check to see if there is any fluid at all. Is she on a low sodium diet? Is she taking her had mentioned her confusion. The lactulose will definitely help with the confusion.

You hang in there...


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 445
   Posted 2/27/2009 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   

Big Toe

My husband has an enlarged liver but it more to the side of his stomach.  He also has acites and that looks just like he is pregnant.  I hope that helps.  If she was drained that would be acites.  I agree that you need to have her seen by a specialist that is if you have any say. 


New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/1/2009 4:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I am not sure what doctor it was. I am not there at the moment so get the information second-hand.
Regarding the low sodium diet, we thought that was necessary and then the medical staff at the hospital said it was not important and just to let her ear what she wants when she wants. I think this maybe because she has sever malnutrition.
I will find out about the lactulose. I did ask my mother a coupls of weeks ago and she said my Auntie was not on it.
Thanks guys :-)
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