What is a paracentesis?
A paracentesis is a small procedure to remove excess fluid from the abdomen.
Why do I need a paracentesis?
Certain medical conditions can cause excess fluid to build up in the abdomen, including:
When too much fluid builds up in the abdomen, it can become uncomfortable. A paracentesis can be done to relieve symptoms from the excess fluid. Sometimes your doctor may need to remove fluid to test it for infection or signs of other disease.
What happens during a paracentesis?
Your doctor may use an ultrasound to look for a safe pocket of fluid to drain. After cleaning and numbing the skin, your doctor will then place a skinny tube into the fluid in your abdomen through a pinhole. The fluid will drain out into a jar or a bag using mild suction. The procedure usually only takes a few minutes.
Will it hurt?
After the mild sensation of the numbing medicine, the paracentesis will not hurt.
Will I need a second paracentesis?
It is common for fluid to come back days or weeks after a paracentesis. If this happens, you may need to repeat the procedure. Sometimes people need a paracentesis monthly or even weekly.
What are the risks and side effects of a paracentesis?
Paracentesis is usually a safe procedure. Rare, potential complications include:
Your doctor will discuss all of the risks and benefits of the procedure with you before your paracentesis.
Where can I get more information on paracenteses?