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Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer and often come with ascites in the abdominal cavity. It is also known as Peritoneal Effusion. Paracentesis is often performed to remove the excess ascetic fluid buildup in their abdominal cavity. Basically, it is a surgical method where a needle is inserted between the abdominal walls, membranes, and organs in the abdominal cavity to remove the excess fluid. It is also known as an Ascites or Abdominal tap and often performed therapeutic as well as diagnostic purposes. For diagnostic purposes, only 50 ml of fluid is taken out. However, for the therapeutic purpose, it is limited to 1 liter at a time.
In peritoneal mesothelioma, the cancerous tumors weaken the endothelial cells that act as a stops various fluid from leaking out and collecting in the peritoneal cavity. Paracentesis is a minor palliative procedure performed with the assistance of ultrasound or CT camera. Those who have bleeding or clotting problems or on medicines like Coumadin, aspirin, NSAIDs, are not eligible for this treatment procedure.
There are no such preparatory tests or scans required for this treatment and patients need are not required to be hospitalized for this. In fact, it can be performed in both hospital and diagnostic centers. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes and patients are allowed to go home if the blood pressure is normal.
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How Does Paracentesis Help People with Mesothelioma?

People with Peritoneal Mesothelioma experience paracentesis to verify the analysis. Also, it alleviates the abdominal pain and discomfort. Ascites leads to breathing difficulty due to the increased strain of fluid build in the abdomen. Since ascites may reoccur in patients with advanced stage Mesothelioma, this palliative procedure than be administered to relieve pain and difficulty.
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Expected Cost of Paracentesis

Unlike other palliative treatments, Paracentesis is a minor invasive procedure and needs no preparations or tests. Also, the patients are not admitted to the hospital. After the Paracentesis, patients are generally released as soon as the blood pressure gets normal. However, in some severe ascites cases, where more volume of fluid is extracted, the patients may receive albumin. In some cases, if there is a seeding of the cancerous tumor on the site of Paracentesis insertion, then patients may be required to go for other treatments. If ascites occurs repeatedly in peritoneal mesothelioma patient then it would be expensive. Under such scenario, a doctor may also fit a catheter and can collect 1 liter of fluid every day without the need of visiting the doctor. Otherwise, the cost of one Paracentesis procedure is affordable and approximately ranges from $700 to $2500.
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Stats & Side Effects of Paracentesis

It is a simple and procedure with very few complications. It depends much on who is performing it on you and how experienced he is. However, the risk factors associated with Paracentesis include low blood pressure, infection and continuous leakage at the site of needle insertion, damage to the other organs like bladder, bowel, and stomach. Also one fails to collect the fluid or end up with abdominal wall hematoma or cut a blood vessel. It relieves the patients from the buildup pressure of the peritoneal fluid that can damage the kidney, liver as well as the stomach. Remember, it is not a curative but palliative procedure. Consult your doctor and then decide!

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Show Sources


  1. http://www.mesothelioma-aid.org/paracentesis.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2385561
  3. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003119-pdf.pdf
  4. https://www.mesotheliomahelp.org/treatment/surgery/
Last Modified: Apr 14, 2017 @ 12:05 am

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