Paracentesis removes fluid (ascites) from the abdomen using a catheter. Removing this fluid can relieve pressure and discomfort often felt with the excess fluid in the abdomen (therapeutic). After we remove the fluid, we send the sample to the lab to determine the cause of buildup.

What should I expect during paracentesis ultrasound?

You will lie on your back with your head elevated. We will perform ultrasound imaging to determine the best place in the abdomen to access the fluid. We clean the skin area with surgical soap and apply local anesthetic into the access site.

Next, we insert a paracentesis needle and catheter, attaching a small bottle to assist in drain the fluid. After enough fluid has been drained, we remove the catheter and cover the access site with a bandage.

How do I prepare for paracentesis ultrasound?

You should not be on any blood thinners, including vitamin E and aspirin, for one week prior to your appointment. Please discuss with your prescribing physician before discontinuing these medications.

One day prior to your procedure: A blood test is needed to test your PT, INR and Platelet count.

On the day of your procedure: Wear a comfortable two piece outfit the day of your appointment.

How do I schedule my paracentesis ultrasound?

You can schedule your paracentesis with a physician’s order by calling the Diagnostic Imagining Department at 206-860-5496, option 2.