A certified ultrasound technologist and a Radiologist perform the paracentesis procedure. After the procedures risks and benefits are explained, the ultrasound technologist will check your abdomen with the ultrasound machine camera to find an appropriate location to safely remove fluid from your abdomen. The radiologist will double check the site, clean your skin with an antiseptic solution, and administer an injection of local anesthesia to numb the area. Once the area is numb, the radiologist will introduce a small flexible catheter into your abdomen that will remain throughout the procedure. The catheter will be attached to a vacuum bottle container, which quickly removes the fluid while you rest. After as much fluid as possible is removed, the ultrasound technologist will remove the catheter, clean the skin and apply a bandage.
After a paracentesis, most people feel significant relief. You may resume normal diet and medications (avoid aspirin) immediately after the procedure. Most people do not experience discomfort. There will be a small puncture mark where the catheter was inserted that should heal within a day or two. Rest for the remainder of the day and avoid bathing for 24 hours.