Ultrasound Paracentesis

What is Paracentesis?

An ultrasound paracentesis is a procedure in which a needle is interested through your abdominal cavity to remove built-up fluid (ascites). Paracentesis may be done to determine the cause of fluid buildup and/or provide relief from pain or other symptoms of ascites.

Before the Procedure

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. For the best experience please properly prepare for your appointment:

  • You may eat and drink as normal. No special diet is required.
  • Certain medications cannot be taken prior to this procedure; your doctor will provide instructions if you need to adjust your medication.
  • Do not bring children with you to your appointment. For their safety children are not allowed to accompany you in the exam room. Staff are unable to monitor children.

During the Procedure

A team of nurses, sonographers, and provider (doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) will explain and perform the procedure.

  • You may receive an IV if your doctor ordered medication to be given during and after the procedure.
  • Your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level will be measured before and after fluid is removed.
  • You will lie on a cart and a Sonographer will use ultrasound to find the built-up fluid (ascites).
  • The provider and Sonographer decide on the safest site to remove fluid and clean the skin.
  • Provider uses a small needle to inject numbing medication before inserting a small tube / catheter.
  • Fluid will then be removed from the abdomen. Some of the fluid may be sent to the laboratory for testing.
  • After fluid removal, the catheter will be removed, and a bandage will be placed over the procedure site.
  • The procedure takes approximately 30-60 minutes.

After the Procedure

  • If your doctor ordered medication (Albumin) to be given after the procedure, our nurses will continue monitoring you until completion.
  • You will be provided home instructions to care for your procedure site.
  • If your fluid was sent to lab, your care provider or ordering clinic will call you with the results.
  • Follow-up care is a key part of your health. Be sure to make and go to all appointments and call your primary care provider if you have questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions