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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).

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.