Accessibility Tools


When fluid builds up in the abdomen, it is called ascites. Ascites can cause abdominal swelling, pain, shortness of breath, and difficulty eating.

In order to figure out why fluid is building up and/or to treat the above symptoms, the fluid can be removed. Under real-time ultrasound guidance, a pocket of fluid is identified. Then, the overlying skin and soft tissues are numbed with an injection of numbing medication. Finally, a small needle and catheter are introduced into the fluid. The fluid is removed, and samples may be submitted for laboratory evaluation.

The procedure has a low risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nearby organs. We perform this procedure for both inpatients and outpatients. Inpatients usually can return to their room immediately after the procedure. Outpatients also usually can return home immediately after the procedure.

Doctors performing Paracentesis

Patient-Centered Care You Can Trust