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if ascites is severe enough to make lying in bed extremely uncomfortable should we go to the emergency room? diagnosed with esophageal cancer that has spread to the abdomen. ascites causing extreme discomfort. he took his pain meds and still cannot lay

2 doctor answers
Dr. Kathirae Severson
32 years experience Internal Medicine
When : When ascites causes abdominal discomfort or pain it is generally accepted that enough fluid fluid should be removed from the abdomen for comfort. More importantly, evaluation of the abdomen to ensure that there has not been a colon or esophageal rupture is vitally important. Evaluation for infection causing the accumulation of fluid is also part of the evaluation. The sooner the patient is diagnosed with a potential infection or rupture, the sooner treatment can begin. Extreme discomfort to the point of not being able to lye down would be considered a medical emergency and urgent evaluation should occur. If you are unsure, someone should be on call for your oncologist. Calling them in these type of situations can be very helpful as they can direct you specifically where to go and coordinate your care.
Answered on Mar 22, 2017
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Dr. Loki Skylizard
19 years experience Thoracic Surgery
Collaboration: I am sorry for your difficulties. It is especially important to keep in close communication with your cancer team. Metastatic esophageal cancer is treated with the intent to minimize/alleviate suffering and improve comfort. If someone is having extreme discomfort it is very important to notify your cancer care physicians promptly.
Answered on Nov 16, 2014

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