An ab tap is supplied to remove liquid from the area between the belly wall and the spine. This room is referred to as the ab cavity or peritoneal cavity.

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This test might be done in a health treatment provider"s office, therapy room, or hospital.

The puncture site will it is in cleaned and shaved, if necessary. Girlfriend then obtain a regional numbing medicine. The madness needle is inserted 1 come 2 inches (2.5 come 5 cm) into the abdomen. Sometimes, a tiny cut is do to aid insert the needle. The liquid is traction out into a syringe.

The needle is removed. A dressing is put on the puncture site. If a cut was made, one or 2 stitches might be offered to close it.

Sometimes, ultrasound is provided to guide the needle. An ultrasound supplies sound tide to do the image and not x-rays. That does no hurt.

There room 2 kinds of ab taps:

Diagnostic madness -- A small amount of liquid is taken and also sent come the laboratory for testing.Large volume tap -- Several liters may be removed to relieve abdominal muscle pain and also fluid buildup.

How come Prepare for the Test

Let your provider understand if you:

Have any allergies to medicines or numbing medicineAre taking any kind of medicines (including organic remedies)Have any type of bleeding problemsMight be pregnant

How the Test will certainly Feel

You may feel a slight sting indigenous the numbing medicine, or press as the needle is inserted.

If a big amount of liquid is taken out, you may feel light or lightheaded. Call the provider if you feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

Why the check is Performed

Normally, the abdominal muscle cavity has only a tiny amount of fluid if any. In certain conditions, huge amounts of liquid can construct up in this space.

An abdominal muscle tap can aid diagnose the reason of liquid buildup or the visibility of an infection. It may also be done to eliminate a large amount of fluid to alleviate belly pain.

Normal Results

Normally, there have to be small or no fluid in the abdominal muscle space.

What Abnormal results Mean

An exam of abdominal fluid may show:

Damaged bowelInfectionKidney diseasePancreatic an illness (inflammation or cancer)


There is a slight chance that the needle might puncture the bowel, bladder, or a blood courage in the abdomen. If a huge quantity of fluid is removed, over there is a slight hazard of lower blood pressure and kidney problems. Over there is likewise a slight opportunity of infection.

Alternative Names

Peritoneal tap; Paracentesis; Ascites - abdominal tap; Cirrhosis - abdominal muscle tap; Malignant ascites - ab tap



Alarcon LH. Paracentesis and diagnostic peritoneal lavage. In: Vincent J-L, Abraham E, Moore FA, Kochanek PM, Fink MP, eds. Textbook of critical Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap E10.

Koyfman A, lengthy B. Peritoneal procedures. In: Roberts JR, Custalow CB, Thomsen TW, eds. Roberts and Hedges" Clinical measures in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 43.

Mole DJ. Practical procedures and also patient investigation. In: Garden JO, Parks RW, eds. Principles and also Practice of Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 8.

Solà E, Ginès P. Ascites and spontaneous bacter peritonitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and also Fordtran"s Gastrointestinal and also Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 93.

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Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University school of Medicine, Washington, DC. Likewise reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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