Ascites is the clinical name of a common problem in liver injury patients. It features an accumulation of liquid in the abdominal cavity. Such collection is sometimes so severe that patients increase weight unexpectedly and have a round belly made up of fluid. But how do they get rid of this excess liquid? One way is through a procedure known as paracentesis.
But paracentesis has many uses besides relieving the extra weight caused by ascites. Sometimes doctors need to know the composition of this liquid and would run tests and examine its cellular components.
In this article, we will review all patients need to know about paracentesis, including the diagnosis of ascites, identifying the candidates for paracentesis, how it is performed, and more.
What is paracentesis?
Paracentesis is a medical procedure that features the removal of excess abdominal fluid. It is a complex procedure that requires a very precise skill, and it is one of the main training given to all surgeons and internists.
Besides taking out the fluid, the primary purpose of paracentesis is to diagnose the cause of ascites. This is called diagnostic paracentesis. When the primary goal is removing a very large volume of fluid from the peritoneal cavity, we call it therapeutic paracentesis.