Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
May 2015

Last week I was told I have ascites (abdominal fluid). I am not being operated on or receiving any more chemotherapy so it's a matter of living with it. My consultant doesn't want to drain it so I wondered if anyone had any tips on managing it, especially on diet, what to eat that might help or what to avoid. 

I wondered if anyone had any tips on managing ascites?
Why isn’t the consultant draining it?
Response by Professor Iain McNeish, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

We basically always drain ascites if it is causing symptoms.  Therefore, the immediate question is why isn’t the consultant draining it? What I don’t know is if you have had it drained before and, if so, how many times and were there any problems? 

There are in-dwelling catheters that can be put in (trade name is PleuRx) - they are inserted and stay in: the woman then connects up a bottle every day and drains out whatever fluid there is.  My experience has been that they are quite good, but aren’t available everywhere.

To answer your specific questions, there is nothing that you yourself can do to reduce the ascites – the fluid is made by the tumour. Diet doesn’t make any difference.  Some people try diuretics (water tablets) but they don’t really work either.