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Aspiration

Definition

Aspiration means to draw in or out using a sucking motion. It has two meanings:

  • Breathing in a foreign object (sucking food into the airway).
  • A medical procedure that removes something from an area of the body. These substances can be air, body fluids, or bone fragments. An example is removing ascites fluid from the belly area.

Aspiration as a medical procedure may also be used to remove tissue samples for a biopsy. This is sometimes called a needle biopsy or aspirate. For example, the aspiration of a breast lesion.

References

Davidson N. Breast cancer and differential diagnosis of benign lesions. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 204.

Martin P. Approach to the patient with liver disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 148.

O'Donnell AE. Bronchiectasis, atelectasis, cysts, and localized lung disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 90.


Review Date: 11/2/2014
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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