Abdominal Paracentesis
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What are Abdominal Paracentesis?

Usually, there is very little fluid in the abdominal cavity. However, there are a number of conditions that can cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen. This is called ascites . When fluid accumulates, an abdominal paracentesis may be done. With this procedure, a needle is used to remove a sample of fluid or to drain fluid that has accumulated.

Ascites
Ascites
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

This is done to find out why there is fluid build-up in the abdomen. Causes may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Diseases of organs, such as the liver

This procedure may also be done when fluid in the abdomen:

  • Makes breathing difficult
  • Causes pain

Abdominal fluid can recur until the condition causing it has been treated. You may need to have the procedure again.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an abdominal paracentesis, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Accidental piercing of structures in the abdomen

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Bleeding disorder
  • Poor nutrition
  • Pregnancy
  • Full bladder
  • Infection in the area where the paracentesis instrument will be inserted

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive...
 
Share