What is Paracentesis?
Paracentesis is a minimally invasive procedure performed by a radiologist in which fluid from the abdomen is drained through a needle inserted through the abdominal wall. The fluid buildup is called ascites and may be caused by a variety of different medical conditions.
Paracentesis may be a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. If the cause of the ascites is uncertain, diagnostic paracentesis is performed, and a sample of the fluid is sent to a lab for analysis in order to determine the cause. Therapeutic paracentesis is often performed as a comfort measure in people with known causes of ascites to remove excess fluid and relieve pressure as part of the treatment plan.