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Fluid in abdominal cavity after surgery

Carsen928's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2012

Hello- has anyone experienced fluid in their abdominal cavity after surgery ? I had my debunking survey 5 weeks ago and immediately following my ab began to fill with fluid. I am a small person and look to be 6 months pregnant. Only in the lower ab area. Doctor first said it was the cancer and they drained 2 liters off and fluid came back cancer free. Doctor then said it could be a chyle leak from removing over 75 lymph nodes during surgery. They placed me on a no fat diet and said it will clear up within 2 weeks. I am almost 2 weeks in and no change. It is uncomfortable to be upright for more then a few hours and I need to lay down to take the pressure off. Doctor will not support a second draining as she feels they are risky and may cause it to get worse? Any one have any experience with this...I could use some hope and suggestions to take back and discuss with my doctor.

Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2012

Yes, I had a lot of abdominal fluid after my debulking surgery and just had fluid build up again this past week. After surgery it took about 2-3 weeks to eliminate the fluid. I started back on chemo and one night I started sweating profusely and peeing all night long until it resolved itself. I also had a lymph drainage massage as well. Not sure if that is even an option for you. This past week I had a bowel obstruction and I filled up with fluid again. Spent 5 days in the hospital trying to clear it and it partially cleared but came home full with fluid again. I asked the Dr if I could take a diuretic pill but he said no as he didn't want me to get dehydrated. This weekend I got my bowels cleared and the swelling has gone down again thankfully. Not sure if this may be an issue for you. I know how much pressure the water retention puts on your abdomen. Sorry it hasn't started to subside. Maybe you can ask you DR about a lymphatic drainage massage or a diuretic. Not sure if it would help. I feel your pain! Hope they can do something for you very soon or your body kicks in and will start eliminating you excess fluid. Please let us know how you are doing and if you can get this under control. Sending you positive energy and good health going forward. Michele

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sep 2010

I started to accumulate ascites a couple of weeks after my surgery. I had it drained after my first chemo and again the following week. They don't like to drain it because you lose a lot of protein when they drain it, and it can sometimes come back quicker after it is drained. They drained mine because it was interfering with my breathing.
After the second draining, I started getting drained every three days. This cycle continued for 2 months. Although the doctors told me the chemo would dry it up, and I understand that is usually what happens, it didn't happen for me. Finally, I was in the hospital with a staph infection and under the care of a hospitalist. He put me on IV nutrition. My albumin protein level had dropped to 1.0. The low end of normal is 3.4. After being on the IV nutrition for a week and a half, the ascites stopped, but I had to stay on the IV nutrition for 3 months to get my albumin protein up to normal. I recommed you keep an eye on that albumin level, which is part of your regular blood work. If it drops to 2.0, talk to your doctor about IV nutrition (TPN). If your protein gets too low, your tissues will not be able to retain fluids, adding to the ascites. In hindsight, I think much of my ascites was a result of low protein and not the cancer.

Carsen928's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks you, I'm going to look at my labs. I have hardly eaten in 5 weeks as my stomach feels smashed and a cracker feels me up. Im guessing I don't have very much protien -

Posts: 5
Joined: May 2013

I have In exact situation as you are last oct.,
Can you let me know what happen after your diet and does the fluid goes away.

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