Paracentesis

Paracentesis is a procedure in which a needle is inserted through the abdominal wall to remove fluid that has built up in the abdominal cavity (ascites). It may be used as a test (diagnostic paracentesis) or as a treatment (therapeutic paracentesis).

Paracentesis may be done to:

  • Collect a fluid sample from the abdominal cavity to help find out the cause of ascites (diagnostic).
  • Diagnose infection in the ascitic fluid (diagnostic).
  • Remove a large amount of fluid from the abdominal cavity when the fluid is causing discomfort or affecting the function of the kidneys or intestines (therapeutic).

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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