Read about removing abdominal fluid as a test to help doctors stage your ovarian cancer.
A swollen abdomen
If you have a swollen abdomen, fluid may have built up. This is called ascites. It can be a sign that your ovarian cancer has spread. It can also be caused by other conditions that are not cancer. Your specialist will want to take a sample of fluid to check for cancer cells.
You may have this test in the outpatients department. First, you have a local anaesthetic injection into the skin of your abdomen. Once the skin is numb, your doctor puts in a needle to draw out some of the fluid. The fluid then goes to the laboratory to be examined for cancer cells.
If you have a lot of fluid, your doctor may want to drain it to relieve pressure in your abdomen and make you more comfortable. This is called an abdominal tap or abdominal paracentesis (para-sent-ee-sis).