Aspiration means to draw in or out using a sucking motion. It has two meanings:
- Aspiration can mean breathing in a foreign object (such as sucking food into the airway).
- The term can also refer to 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, aspiration of a breast lesion.
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Update Date 11/4/2012
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, and Stephanie Slon.