Ascites hernia question: Hi, This is my... - British Liver Trust

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Ascites hernia question

bryan69 profile image
16 Replies


This is my first post, I am suffering with advanced alcohol related cirrhosis. After 3 months of abstinence I have managed to move from Stage 4 to Stage 3.

A major symptom I have is ascites, I have a large hernia around the umbilical area. The ascites is slowly reducing with 200mg Spironolactone diuretic treatment, but the hernia is growing.

My question I feel might be a bit trivial to try to bother my Liver Support Unit with, especially at this time of the year when they are so busy and understaffed.

I wonder if it might help to wear an abdominal truss at night (when my diuretics seem to work the most). Perhaps pressing the liquid back in might concentrate it more, and help the intestines to absorb it back to the body more efficiently.

I would be grateful for any thoughts, experiences or suggestions.

Many thanks,


16 Replies
moonbeam4 profile image

Bryan, please phone your team for advice. Often we feel somewhat of a nuisance ( particulaŕly if the self inflicted alcohol guilt trip comes into play, as it did with me at least ) but these people are paid to look after you, so phone and ask!. At least ring your local pharmacist as a starting point. I hope someone has the experience to offer you a practical suggestion on the forum but personally i would phone, your question is important not trivial at all. As I understand it hernias can make folk feel wretched. Best wishes, m.b. x x😊

bryan69 profile image
bryan69 in reply to moonbeam4

Thanks for your reply moonbeam,

I will make the call,

Kind Regards,


Hi Bryan. I would phone the professional's just in case it could do more harm than good.

Brett may have the answer for you though he does have a very light hearted approach to his condition and is very proud of his unbiblical hernia, which, if he stands in the right position, can create a solar eclipse! Ill see if i can find him .........

moonbeam4 profile image

And, well done on the abstinence it is tough particularly at this time of year, you are not alone. x x x ☺😊😃

bryan69 profile image

Thanks yeah I was worried about doing more harm than good.

I try to keep it light hearted too when I can, my hernia is called Ralph, he has been a loyal friend and follows me everywhere ;o)

🤣🤣 fabulous x

Hello, Hmm I had one, went to the size of a very large grapefruit, it is very important to keep it supported, now this raises a few problems as its in an area you cant really bind as the binding rolls down, I coped with a large band of stretchy material with plastic supports up and down, be careful as they tend to catch you unawares when sitting!!! in the end when I received a transplant they also operated on the hernia, usual gause and I lost my Navel, hey ho a small price to pay.

bryan69 profile image

Thanks jumbot,

have you experienced any problems with the gause?

Brett11 profile image

A grapefruit? That’s nothing! Mine has its own airport and postcode! I mean, people stand under it for shelter!

I have never tried a hernia restraint but I have heard you can’t wear them too tight. Unfortunately doctors won’t operate on umbilical hernias unless they become life threatening.

I can’t really add anything more but to ask your doctors.



Could it be that the hernia is the same size but is just more visually prominent with the reduced acites swelling?

bryan69 profile image

Thanks for all your advice and support, I've ordered a hernia support belt, as my Christmas present to me :)

mncold profile image

Hi Bryan,

Congratulations on your 3 months sober and wishing you many more years of sober and better health.

My hubby had a small hernia, but no ascites.

I think the best advice is to phone your doctor's office and ask them for their best recommendation. They know you and your case the best and so would the best advice.

Best wishes,


chell1704 profile image

My hubbie had an umbilical hernia and last December we spent every weekend in A&E and then in the ward as it kept trapping. Eventually they agreed to operate under local anaesthetic in January this year. Talk to your consultant who will talk to the liver team. We haven't looked back.

Thistle09 profile image

Hello, Bryan. Sorry to be late to the discussion. In my experience, diuretics don't have much effect on ascites. Paracentesis does. It's a simple, virtually painless procedure. Abdominal tap, or paracentesis, is a procedure to remove excess fluid from the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity, the area between the abdominal wall and the spine. This fluid can become infected ---> BAD, real bad.

Diuretics are more effective on edema. Edema happens when your small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues, which could occur anywhere, but are most common in the legs. It can be extremely painful. The heart pumps blood into the lower extremities, but there isn't enough oomph to pump it back up, so it pools and your skin swells until it's shiny, and you look like an enormous marshmallow. I think most people are helped by wearing compression hose, but they did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, they made it worse. The only thing that helped me was, yes, the diuretics, and always, always, religiously ;-) sleeping or lying down with my feet propped up so that they were higher than my heart.

I hope this helps a little, but I do agree with all who said you should consult with your medical team. Maybe you've already done so? Both of these conditions can become **quite dangerous** if not addressed in the beginning.

p.s. I'm curious!!! This is the first time I've heard anyone say they had gone from Stage 4 to Stage 3. That's fantastic. My doctors have not been very specific, even to the point of not answering pointed questions. I asked my PCP if I have decompensated cirrhosis, and she just looked at me -- very odd behavior for her. She probably could not give me a straight answer. I think if your liver is still functioning at all, these "designations" can go up and down depending on whether you follow the "rules." Good for you!

Hey Brian, I have an inguinal hernia and I do find the truss helps quite a bit. Sometimes I do take a few days off of wearing it but it really gets me mobile in the day. It certainly stops the protrusion from pushing out so far and getting painful. As far as umbilical hernias I'm not sure if it will help or not only as I cant say from experience. There is mixed opinions on trusses for both umbilical hernias and inguinal. But I know people who swear by them and I certainly do for the inguinal ones. If you dont want to bother the liver team you can talk to the pharmacists at the place you buy it from as they are often sold in drugstores (here in Canada anyways). I'd look up some reviews to decide which one is best before buying one. It can be a get what you pay for scenario. The one I had originally helped and was about 75CDN but was far inferior to the one that I use now that is 250CDN. Hope this helps a bit my friend!


Ps- if you decide to order one online be extra careful to check sizes.

TonyHarrison profile image

A bit late to the party....but.. When I had an umbilical hernia 3 years ago, I found that the abdominal belts sold in many places were totally useless, as were bandages.. The only thing that helped in any way were the stretchy, slimming/shaper vests I found on ebay and Amazon, )but be warned...they ARE tight, so careful with the sizing)

Luckily for me, after a year,the diuretics I was on got rid of the ascites, and the surgeon agreed to operate. (Not that they help now, it`s only drainage that really works now, which is a pity...I think the repair is starting to break down under the pressure :( )

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