What Can Cause Fluid Buildup Around the Liver?

Liver damage from cirrhosis, liver scarring, hepatitis or a history of alcohol abuse often cause fluid buildup around the liver, according to Healthline. Other disorders that may cause fluid buildup are certain types of cancer, heart or kidney failure, pancreatitis and hypothyroidism.

When fluid builds up around the liver and other organs, it is known as ascites. One of the most common reasons ascites occurs is that the liver stops working, reports Healthline. Another reason for ascites is liver scarring. Liver scarring can increase pressure in the liver and push fluid out, and the fluid builds up around the liver and in the abdomen. Ascites caused by cirrhosis is very serious, and the survival rate is low.

Some symptoms of fluid buildup are unexpected weight gain, stomach pain, vomiting and bloating. A doctor checks the stomach for signs of swelling and then uses image tests to look for fluid in the stomach, explains Healthline. Treatment options vary depending on the cause and severity of the ascites. Doctors commonly prescribe diuretics to treat fluid buildup because they increase the amount of water leaving the body. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to diminish the amount of fluid buildup around the liver and in the abdomen.