What are possible complications of paracentesis?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Vikram Kate, MBBS, MS, PhD, FRCS, FACS, FACG, FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Glasg), FIMSA, MAMS, MASCRS  more...
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Complications from paracentesis may include the following:

  • Failed attempt to collect peritoneal fluid
  • Persistent leak from the puncture site
  • Wound infection
  • Abdominal wall hematoma
  • Spontaneous hemoperitoneum - This rare complication is due to mesenteric variceal bleeding after removal of a large amount of ascitic fluid (>4 L).
  • Hollow viscus perforation (small or large bowel, stomach, bladder)
  • Catheter laceration and loss in abdominal cavity
  • Laceration of major blood vessel (aorta, mesenteric artery, iliac artery)
  • Postparacentesis hypotension
  • Dilutional hyponatremia
  • Hepatorenal syndrome [26]

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