We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Paracentesis?

By Phil Shepley
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Paracentesis is a medical procedure to remove fluid that has collected in the abdomen, or belly. It can be done for several reasons, but mainly for a condition known as ascites, which specifically refers to abdominal fluid build-up. Other reasons for the procedure include testing, diagnosis, damage assessment and pain relief from a variety of factors, such as cancer or trauma to the area.

The paracentesis procedure is relatively simple, involving the insertion of a long needle to the affected area for the purpose of extracting some or all of the fluid. It can usually be done at a doctor's office, as well as in a hospital or emergency room when necessary. If the factors that caused the fluid buildup in the abdomen are unknown, a sample of the fluid will typically be sent to an outside lab for testing.

A patient undergoing a paracentesis generally will have to lie down with his or her abdomen exposed. The area where the needle will enter must be treated with an antiseptic and numbed with an anesthetic. The needle is inserted with a sheath, or tube, that will remain once the needle is removed. It is through this sheath that fluid is extracted and drained into a bottle or other container. A paracentesis will typically involve little or no pain, aside from that caused by the fluid itself, which is often relieved by the fluid's removal. A patient's blood pressure must also be monitored during the procedure since a drop in this diagnostic may signify a complication.

A common reason for fluid buildup and the need for a paracentesis is abdominal infection caused by bacteria. The fluid can also be due to certain kinds of cancer, reinforcing the importance of testing after administering the procedure. Severe trauma to the belly can also cause fluid to build up, and the fluid must often be tested to assess the amount of damage to the surrounding internal organs. In any of these cases, the presence of the fluid can become dangerous, if not extremely uncomfortable or painful, when left untreated.

Some factors can affect the ability to perform a paracentesis. The presence of drugs such as blood thinners in a patient's system prior to the operation may result in a delay. A pregnant patient may also require the doctor to do the procedure differently, if at all. Some diagnostics, such as blood tests, may be administered before a paracentesis to avoid unnecessary complications.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.