Abdominal fluid aspiration / pleural aspiration

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Abdominal fluid aspiration

If you get a build-up of fluid in your abdomen (ascites), a fine needle can be used to take a sample of fluid to see if it has any cancer cells. This needle can be inserted with the help of ultrasound. Some fluid is taken and then examined under a microscope. This procedure can be referred to as paracentesis (“para-sent-tee-sis”).

Pleural aspiration

With plueral aspiration, the needle is used to take a sample of fluid from your chest. Your doctor will inject some local anaesthetic into your chest before the test to numb the area.

Before the test

Your doctor will numb your skin with a local anaesthetic.

During the test

A fine needle will be put through your skin. The needle is used to take a sample of cells.

Your doctor may need to use an ultrasound or CT scanner to guide the needle to the right place.  

Does it hurt?

You might feel a little pressure or a prick when the needle goes in. The area might feel a bit tender for a few hours afterwards.

How long does it take?

About 15 minutes.

Will I have pain relief / anaesthetic?

Usually you will have a local anaesthetic to numb the skin in the area

After the test

You may feel a little bit sore or have a bruise where the needle went in.

The sample of cells / fluid will be sent to a laboratory to be examined. It may take a week or two to get the results.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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