What is ascites?
Ascites is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. When it’s severe, ascites can cause stomach swelling (distention), abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing and eating.
There are several kinds of ascites. Two common forms are caused by liver cirrhosis (liver disease), or certain cancers of the abdomen. When the buildup of fluid contains chyle (a milky fluid that’s a combination of lymphatic fluid and fat), this form of ascites is known as chylous ascites and is a lymphatic flow disorder.
Lymph vessels carry lymph fluid to veins, where it returns to the bloodstream, playing a crucial role in immune function and fat and protein transport. Injury to lymphatic vessels, congenital abnormalities or excessively high venous pressures can result in lymphatic flow problems and leakage of lymphatic fluid into the chest, abdomen or other body cavities.
Why Choose Us?
The Center for Lymphatic Imaging and Interventions at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides highly specialized care for children and adults with lymphatic leaks and lymphatic flow disorders.
Treatment of ascites
Treatment of ascites depends on its cause. At the Center for Lymphatic Imaging and Interventions at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), patients are treated by a team of experts who specialize in lymphatic imaging and interventions. The team will determine the best treatment approach for each patient’s condition.
When lymphatic imaging is able to identify the source of the leak that is causing ascites, the source can be sealed during an embolization procedure.