Ascites is the term for accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (peritoneal cavity) which surrounds the bowel, leading to enlarged, swollen and tender abdomen.

It has a number of causes including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. It is always a serious finding and should be referred to a hepatologist.

The management of ascites involves determining the cause and removing the fluid, either by placing a small drain or using diuretics (water pills).