Topic: Ascites/Drain tube

My husband, Dirk Bailey was diagnosed with CC in July of 2006.  He has recently developed ascites and has had two paracentisis done since 10/30/07.  He has alot of fluid right now, probably at least 1 gallon that is going to be drained at the hospital tomorrow.  They are also going to put in a tube that he can use to drain the abdominal cavity himself.  Has anyone had this procedure?  Did you have any problems or was it better than going to the hospital every week?  His labs and MRI's all seem to be relatively good, but something is causing the ascites.  Can anyone explain to me better than the physician as to what is going on?  Is his liver shutting down?   Thanks for any help you can provide regarding this matter.  This web site has been a wonderful learning tool for me.

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Hi Michelle, welcome to the group. My mom also has ascites. She recently had 2 liters drained from it. I asked the doctor if it was because of her liver and he said yes. Another one said today that it is not going to go away but he seemed alittle suprised that it had not grown more over the past week or so.

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Michelle,
I have had my ascities drained a few times and talked with different doctors about the benefits/risks of installing drain.  The doctors I spoke with acknowledged that a drain can sometimes be valuable in terms of a patients quality of life but all felt that it was best avoided if possible due to the risk of infection.
It is reversible of course so if it becomes a problem for your husband it could be removed.  I'm sure it's very successful for some.  I know of one man who had one installed for a trip to visit each of his children and it served him well.
It is also possible, but unusual, for the ascities to go away or be relieved when therapies are successful.  I've been fortunate to experience this.  Not a cure but a reprieve.
-Peter
-Peter

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Hi Michelle,
I thought Dirk had intrahepatic cc.  I didn't thin ascited happened with that but i guess it depends on what gets blocked by the tumor.  Praying for relief for Dirk and will watch for your update.  mary Anne

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

My mother had intrahepatic cc and ascites was one of the few symptoms she had, and very early. As Jeff said, some people get them drained and then they have a reprieve for a long time, but when my mother's ascites got too bad and started leaking, hospice nurses told us this was a sign of the end and the liver breaking down. If Dirk's doctors are recommending drainage and/or a tube, then I would think they believe the ascites can be brought under control, as it wasn't even suggested for my mother. Best of luck to you and Dirk and I hope you can get some answers and some relief-
Much hope,
Joyce

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Oops - sorry, in my last post I said "Jeff" when I meant "Peter"! I'm sorry I got those two confused, because they're both long-term fighters of this disease and an inspiration to us all
Joyce

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Michelle -

My husband, Mike had intrahepatic cc and also developed ascites.  One paracentesis was done, and then his physician said insertion of an abdominal drain would be kinder and less painful than a paracentesis on a regular basis.  He did pretty well with it, and we utilized the drain for about three months.  I drained the fluid here at home.  The nurses at the hospital will teach you how to do this, should you decide to go ahead with this procedure.  Please let me know what else I can do to help you, and know that you and Dirk are in my thoughts and prayers.

Joni

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

My husband Rick, diagnosed in Feb and stented then, refused treatment (since in our research it was known not to have much effect with CC) and has lived life fairly full til just recently.  The last month or so we can really see the symptoms of CC creeping up on him.  Fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain (15 plus CM tumor and some buddies) depression, textbook stuff in stage 4.  Anyway, recently he developed ascities, and yesturday they drained  3.3 liters   !!!  WE thot he would feel better but he is in bed and in pain today. They did say it has a great chance of coming back within a week, and talked about the drain, but again, the risk of infection is great and its something they just dont like to do. Our doc says we will wail til later....meaning...what?  I know from research he doesnt have much of a later. So we'll wait and see. I just hate the pain part, as I feel it too.

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Thanks to all who replied and gave information.  Dirk has extrahepatic cc (klatskin tumor)  the really frustrating thing is that it never shows up on the MRI.  He just had one right before Thanksgiving and nothing - no mets (we know they are there because the surgeon saw them at Mayo when performing a pre surgery laporoscopy)  The original tumor is now hidden because of the metal stent.  His bili is great .6 so the stent is helping but he does have some mild dialation in the biliary ducts of his liver.  All of the other organs look good according to the MRI.  His labs all are pretty good too.  His albumin was 3 which is a little low.  Anyway, 11/27 he had another 4 liters drained at the hospital, they left in the drain and sent him home.  Today a home health nurse came to change the dressing and drain him again.  She took off 5 liters.  He didn't look like he had that much in his abdomen.  I made him drink a Boost and will be pushing the proteins as much as possible.  I am going to learn how to do this procedure myself so that we can drain it as necessary.  One of the things that bugs me is that I don't know if we should just keep up with the Gemzar chemo treatments, as the MRI's and labs seem good or if we should try something different because the ascites tells me a different story.  I think I'll bring it up with the oncologist as he seems to be in a rut!

Re: Ascites/Drain tube

Michelle,
From what I understand, there are few Hospital (generally, the larger ones) who have an MRI capable of scanning through metal therefore, as you said, the tumor can not be evaluated through regular MRI's.
Hoping for Dirk to be regaining some comfort now, after having his ascities drained.
My best to you
Marions

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