There are some conditions that can cause fluid to build up in the abdomen. This is called ascites. When fluid builds up, an abdominal paracentesis may be done. With this procedure, a needle is used to remove a sample of fluid or to drain fluid that has built up.

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This is done to find out why there is fluid build-up in the abdomen. Causes may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Diseases of organs, such as the liver or kidneys
  • Cancer
  • Low blood protein
  • Leakage of lymphatic fluid

This procedure may also be done when fluid in the abdomen:

  • Makes breathing difficult
  • Causes pain

Abdominal fluid can return until the condition causing it has been treated. You may need to have the procedure again.