What is aspiration?

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In the medical field, aspiration refers to a procedure wherein fluid or some kind of substance is suctioned into or out of a particular part of the body. Most common aspiration procedures involve removing some contents from a part of the body. The removal process is typically made through a suction-like technique. For these procedures, the body parts involved are said to have undergone aspiration or are also labelled as having been aspirated of fluid.

Most people may encounter the term “aspiration” when they are diagnosed to have some abnormal growth or cysts in a particular part of the body. When these abnormal cell growths are detected early on, most doctors will require a biopsy and this procedure can only be done through aspiration. The basic procedure involves inserting a small tube into the affected body part and some parts of the tissue with tumors or cysts are taken out through the aspiration process. Once a sample of these cysts is available, this will then be analyzed in the lab to determine if they are benign or not. Aspiration is typically prescribed in these cases when the results or findings from other diagnostic procedures like X-ray or MRI scans are deemed incomplete or unreliable.

In the case of the fluid that accumulated in the lungs secondary to a respiratory disease, aspiration may also be necessary to clear the lungs from these fluids. Through aspiration, the lungs will be able to return to their normal function and eventually help patients from breathing properly. There are also cases wherein aspiration is needed by patients who have suffered a stroke and other related conditions. It is common for these patients to have food aspirated into their airways which could lead to difficulty in breathing. Through aspiration or removal of unwanted particles in the airway, normal breathing may be restored and potential death is also averted.

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