Paracentesis is the name of the surgical puncture used to remove fluid from the abdomen. The fluid build up inside the abdomen is known as ascites.
The procedure is performed at a hospital or doctor's office and the magnitude of the fluid determines whether it is done inpatient or outpatient. Inflammation, infection and specific injuries can cause the fluid to accumulate in the abdomen. The procedure is done by using a long-thick needle to remove the fluid. The fluid is then sent to a lab for testing. The procedure is also done to diagnose an infection or to check for liver and other types of cancers.