Abdominal Tap : Paracentesis

The abdominal cavity normally contains little or no free fluid. The presence of free fluid within the abdominal cavity is referred to as ascites. This condition may be caused by pancreatitis, congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or cancer (spread within the abdomen). Analysis of the free fluid can give the physician a clue as to the cause of the ascites.

In this test, a collection of fluid is obtained through the introduction of a thin needle into the abdominal cavity. Paracentesis is performed only after the patient has received a local anesthetic. The fluid sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. In some cases, a large accumulation of abdominal fluid can interfere with breathing, necessitating the removal of the fluid by paracentesis.

***** REMEMBER *****

1. There is a slight risk that the needle could puncture the bowel, blood vessel, or bladder (in some cases this could necessitate emergency surgery).

2. Removal of large amounts of fluid with the resultant lowering of blood pressure can precipitate hypovolemic shock. The doctor will monitor the procedure closely watching for this reaction.

3. There is a small risk of bacterial infection to the abdomen (peritonitis).


Abdominal Ultrasound
Abdominal X-Ray
Allergy Testing
Amylase Blood Test
Arterial Blood Gases
Barium Enema
Blood Chemistry
Blood Coagulation Test
Blood Cultures
Blood Glucose Test
Blood Test Smac 25
Bone Marrow Biopsy Aspiration
Cardiac Catheterization Angioplasty
Cardiac Enzymes
Cholesterol Blood Test
Complete Blood Count
CT Scanning Back
CT Scanning Chest Abdomen
Drug Levels
Glucose Tolerance Test
Hepatitis Blood Test
HIV Blood Test
Kidney Biopsy
Kidney Blood Test
Liver Biopsy
Liver Blood Test
Lymph Node Biopsy
Mononucleosis Test
Peritoneal Lavage
Pregnancy Blood Test
Prostate Specific Antigen
Skin Biopsy
Spine X-Rays
Thyroid Biopsy
Thyroid Blood Test

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