Paracentesis is the medical procedure which drains pathological fluid from abdominal cavity . Accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity is called ascites and can appear in many situations, including: liver cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, endocrine diseases, nephrotic syndrome, malnutrition, neoplasms, infections (especially in peritoneal tuberculosis in bacterial peritonitis, fungal or parasitic). The liquid is drained using a long thin needle which is passed through the abdominal wall into peritoneal cavity. Generally, the liquid extracted is sent to the laboratory for determining the cause and type of ascites. Paracentesis is done to reduce intra-abdominal pressure in patients with cirrhosis or cancer and to improve breathing and general condition. Therapeutic paracentesis is indicated when the ascites fluid has accumulated in large amount and compromise respiratory function, causing intense abdominal pain or aggravate any umbilical or inguinal hernias present in the patient in question (it significantly increases the risk of incarceration and strangulation of their hernias).
Preparing for paracentesis
Prior to performing paracentesis the patient is advised to notify their physician if taking any drug, if he is allergic to any medicine (including general and local anesthesia), if he had a history of bleeding episodes, difficult to be controlled, if he is in anticoagulant therapy, if he is taking aspirin, NSAIDs or warfarin and, for women, if they are pregnant.
Prior to paracentesis, the patient will give samples to determine if there are problems with blood clotting. If modifying of the parameters of these tests occur, to the patient will be given fresh plasma to correct imbalances.In normal situations it is not used special administration of sedative medication before paracentesis.
The patient is asked that before making puncture to empty their bladder .
The doctor will ask the patient to sign a declaration to give their consent in connection with carrying out the procedure, explaining carefully before, the steps of performing, technical, and risks associated such a maneuver.
Specialists advise patients to thoroughly discuss with their doctor all the details of paracentesis and to become thoroughly familiar with this procedure, before to be done.