Ascites Drain and Human Albumin - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Ascites Drain and Human Albumin

zvhipp profile image


My father has gained about 7lbs in 10 days since last Appoinment. He started gaining weight slowly since March and so far has gained about 13lbs. Docs previously did not recommended paracentesis and asked to carry on with diuretics with lower dose. So now we visited again and he recommended taping.

He had it drained once only and that was in last February 2.5ltr. His albumin has remained at 3 to 3.1 steady. But this time doc asked him to be admitted for 2-3 days For draining and also said he will be given human albumin injection. He didn’t get it last time plus the draining was done by radiologist in about hour n half and we were back home.

Is it normal practice to be given human albumin during taping? We fear that if he is given it than his body may not naturally maintain it through diet. Thanks

6 Replies

Good morning

Pre transplant I had regular drains due to ascites! This was usually done on the Planned Investigation Unit as a day patient at my local hospital which has it’s own Liver Unit. The hepatology specialist nurses would insert the drain, after taking bloods and doing an ultrasound of my tummy and I usually drained between 6/7 litres! They had guidance on how much albumen to give me depending on how much fluid I drained and was given via an IV to replace or boost my system! I would ask what their guidance is .

A radiologist only inserted drains for patients with multiple medical problems or it was difficult for the nurses to insert the drains!

Diuretics caused me to have an AKI so were not an option for me.

Hope it all goes well🙏


zvhipp profile image
zvhipp in reply to Lam1e

Thank you for reply. That’s what I had thought that draining is done as day patient. My father is concerned that taking Albumin over IV may break is natural cycle of maintaining Albumin level through diet. Like if he takes it once than he may have to keep taking. Not sure how to explain him.

Anyway, one more question I have is, he had banding done year back, and ascites have returned now after year so does it mean he may have Portal pressure built up again with new varices? Thanks.

Lam1e profile image
Lam1e in reply to zvhipp

Sorry I can’t help with banding or varicose, but I am sure someone else can! As far as my own experience I was only ever given the albumen at the same time as the paracentesis and on one or two occasions when I was really poorly as an inpatient. It was only ever given as a replacement and not as an additional treatment.

I meant to mention that every 1lb in weight I put on was the equivalent of 1 litre fluid removed.

My mother receives Albumin if they pull 5 liters or more. It’s basically replacing the protein that you lose when they do the tap. She just had 7 liters removed and lost 15 lbs on the spot!

zvhipp profile image
zvhipp in reply to Debidoodl

Thank you for reply. I wish her the best. Hard to imagine what they feel within. It’s terrible situation to be in and also for the ones looking after them.

Yes you have albumin for every so many litres drained, can't remember the exact figure but my brother had quite a bit 👍

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