Paracentesis is a procedure to take out fluid that has collected in the belly (peritoneal fluid). This fluid buildup is called ascites. The fluid taken from your belly will be sent to a lab to be studied and looked at under a microscope. Results will be ready in a few hours.
No infection, cancer, or abnormal values are found.
Several tests may be done on the fluid.
Cell counts. A high number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the fluid may mean inflammation, infection (peritonitis), or cancer is present. A high WBC count and a high count of WBCs called polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) may mean there is an infection inside the belly called spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP).
Having scars inside the belly (adhesions) from any belly surgery in the past.
What To Think About
Sometimes doctors use fluids put into the belly to check for injuries. This is called peritoneal lavage. During this procedure, a doctor uses a paracentesis needle to put a salt (saline) fluid into the belly. The fluid is then taken out through the same needle. If the fluid that comes out is bloody, the bleeding is probably being caused by an injury inside the belly.