Abdominal swelling

Enlargement of the abdomen. Abdominal swelling is a natural result of obesity and growth of the uterus during pregnancy. Wind in the stomach or intestine may cause uncomfortable, bloating distension of the abdomen. Some women experience abdominal distension due to temporary water retention just before menstruation. Other causes may be more serious. For instance, ascites (accumulation of fluid between organs) may be a symptom of cancer or disease of the heart, kidneys, or liver; swelling may also be due to intestinal obstruction (see intestine, obstruction of) or an ovarian cyst. Diagnosis of the underlying cause may involve abdominal X-rays, ultrasound scanning, laparotomy, or laparoscopy. In ascites, some fluid between organs may be drained for examination.


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