Paracentesis

Paracentesis is a procedure that uses ultrasound to locate a pocket of free fluid within the abdominal cavity. This assists the radiologist in placing a temporary catheter to drain the fluid.

Preparation

  • At Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital this is performed in the Ultrasound department and uses the preparation information that follows. For other locations, you will receive preparation information from the Interventional Radiology department at your location in advance of your scheduled appointment.
  • You must have labs drawn prior to having this procedure done: PT, PTT, INR and platelets (the labs can be done the night before or the morning of, depending on your appointment).
  • You may eat or drink before this exam.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment for your blood draw, or have it done the night before.
  • Bring a prescription from your doctor.

Procedure

  • You will lie on an exam table with your abdomen exposed.
  • A non-greasy gel will be applied to your skin during the exam.
  • The sonographer will use a hand-held transducer (probe) against your abdomen to obtain images of the fluid in your abdomen.
  • The sonographer then shows the radiologist the largest pocket of fluid.
  • The radiologist numbs the area with Lidocaine to aid in any discomfort the procedure causes.
  • The radiologist then sterilizes the area and places a temporary catheter within the abdomen.

Considerations

Let the technologist know:

  • If you take any medications.
  • If you have an allergy to Lidocaine.
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