Can ascites go away? : Hi my dad has... - British Liver Trust

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Can ascites go away?

Simonamur profile image

Hi my dad has been diagnosed with decompensated alcoholic cirrhosis maddrey score 65.9. He got admitted to hospital in May with pretty bad Jaundice. Doctors kept him for 2 weeks, they did many treatments to bring bilirubin down and took blood tests every day.

When he was discharged didn’t have ascites, few weeks later his belly was getting bigger and was having pressure in abdomen. When he went to hospital for a check up they found ascites.

I am very concerned and scared that this ascites is a sign of end stage liver cirrhosis and he doesn’t have much time to live.

Can anyone please tell me if you had been diagnosed with ascites, how many years you lived with it before you got a transplant or whether it disappeared?

13 Replies
Trust1 profile image


Is your Dad based in the UK? The Maddrey score is not typically used here.

You may find our information on cirrhosis useful to read;

Ascites can be treated from diet and lifestyle modifications to medication and medical procedures to drain the fluid. It is important to get specific guidance about your Dad's ascites and treatment from his liver specialist team.

Very best wishes.

Simonamur profile image
Simonamur in reply to Trust1

Hi Thanks for your reply.

My Dad is not based in UK he is based in Romania.

At the moment he’s taking diuretics to eliminate the ascites which have worked so far, he didn’t need to have it drained. It scares me that ascites is an end stage liver failure and might not have long.

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Partner in reply to Simonamur

Ascites can be a symptom of more advanced liver disease but only the liver specialist can really explain your Dad's specific situation.

HimSimonamur. Your dad is seriously ill. The ascites is a very loud signal that the liver is in trouble. In his condition along with the diuretics he should have been given directions on a fluid restriction, normally 1.5 to 2 litres a day and a low sodium/salt diet. These are not cures but they alleviate some of the pressure on the liver.Your dads future life is up to him. Abstinence from alcohol, a ‘very’ good(not boring or strict), nutritious diet and lifestyle and a lot of patience as he is very sick, could very well see your father living a happy, fulfilling life in time. His longevity is very much in his own hands, doctors will never give you a time with decompensated liver, just the effects and what they can do to combat them…the rest is up to your dad. Give him our very best regards and if you need any more help just yodel 👍😁

Hi, Thank you for your reply! He is doing great staying away from alcohol. He hasn’t had a drink since he got admitted to the hospital in May. After he got this diagnosis he keeps saying he won’t touch it ever again.

The Doctor did say he doesn’t have to follow a very strict diet just stay away from processed foods, deep fried food, red meat and salt .

He says he feels grate and that his appetite is back to normal.

My Dad goes for monthly check ups and doctors have given him hope saying they had patients like him and after 2 years they didn’t need a transplant.

Hopefully 🙏 with a good nutritious diet and free alcohol diet he can keep cirrhosis under control!

Hi Simonamur,My dad was admitted to hospital in April with severe acsites, and subsequently diagnosed with decompensated cirrhosis. He had actually stopped drinking 2 months previously when his friend had commented he looked yellow! And hasn’t touched a drop since. My dad had to have many drains and went from 22 stone down to 15.7 today. He is currently on 2 types of water tablets. He had a scan last week and his acsites has pretty much all gone! It took a while to get the dosage right on the water tablets but he seems to have the right does now. At my dads last hospital appointment all his blood results for his liver were back within the normal ranges, I’m seeing this as a positive :) I had also googled and worries myself sick thinking he was going to die! But he seems much happier and healthier than he has in a long long time. He is only 54 so hopefully has a good few years left in him. I really never thought my dads acsites would go away as he had so so much fluid. I hope your dad continues to improve these things just take time, it’s a long process.

Hi Emmy,

That’s great news your dad can keep it under control with water pills and his results came back within normal range.

My dad has a friend he got admitted to hospital with encephalopathy and bleeding varices. He said the first 6 months were critical and had to follow the diet thoroughly and now it’s been 4 years he has been living with decompensated cirrhosis.

I keep hoping he’s cirrhosis will stabilise and keep it under control with diet and medication.

I had ascites,that’s how I got my diagnosis of decompensated liver disease. I had it drained ten litres,was on water tablets for a few months came off them and it hadn’t come back,fingers crossed. I’m now compensated because I stopped drinking. Time line was Feb diagnosed,April drain off tablets July 2020. Wishing you all the best.

Simonamur profile image
Simonamur in reply to deanw41

I am so pleased for you! Fingers crossed it won’t come back !

I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel!

Thank you very much and wishing you all the best to you too!

I also had ascites for about 8 months with a total of about 300 lbs of fluid drained. It has now been about 2 years since I last had it drained! Never give up!!!

Simonamur profile image
Simonamur in reply to Katewaj

Kate that is Amazing ! I am so pleased for you whining you all the best !

Here’s what worked for my dad- however he did not have liver failure.. Although there’s no reason to think a healthy diet would not benefit all health issues. My dad was having 5liters of fluid drained weekly for about 6 weeks. He radically changed his diet: only fat from coconut ( MCT oils), and low fat meats( mostly venison) and lean fish ( not salmon) and lots of veggies. Absolutely no processed anything. The rationale: large fat molecules are escaping, causing damage to the gut lining barrier. The tears allow other food particles and fluid to enter the visceral area of the abdomen cavity, causing inflammation. Body responds with fluid. Changing the diet allows the gut lining to heal. My dad saw improvement along the way, which was encouraging . In 3 months the Ascites was negligible. However he continued this way of eating for 1 year. I did research on low fat diet and ascites and did find supporting info( not much). My dads dr was on board. . Best of luck

Ps water pills were used prior to diet, and minimally after.

I had severe ascites (draining 10 - 15litres every fortnight) with decomp cirrhosis and colangitis. A major problem is that the colangitis never fully clears and caused me to get peritonitis regularly - and is a particular risk when being drained. I am now on Butenamide and Spronolactone diuretics + a prophylactic brew of abx and I am now reasonably stable - no visits to hospital or drains for nearly a year ... Yah! I am interested in the advice you have received about fatty diets and will start taking this more seriously. All the best and I hope your Dad gets better.

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