Patients - Your Exam

Ultrasound - Drainage

Patient Preparation and Instructions

Paracentesis

Before you have paracentesis done, tell your doctor if you:

  • Are taking any medication.

  • Are allergic to any medications, including anesthetics.

  • Have had bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or warfarin (Coumadin).

  • Are or might be pregnant.

 

Blood tests may be done before a paracentesis to make sure that you do not have any bleeding or clotting problems. Empty your bladder before the procedure because a full bladder can interfere with performing the test.

 

You may be asked to sign a consent form. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will indicate.


Thoracentesis

You will be asked to sign a consent form before a thoracentesis. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the procedure, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will indicate.

 

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Are taking any medications.

  • Have allergies to any medications, including anesthetics.

  • Have any bleeding problems or take blood-thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).

  • Are or might be pregnant.

 

Also, certain conditions may increase the difficulty of thoracentesis. Let your doctor know if you have:

  • Had lung surgery. The scarring from the first procedure may make it difficult to do this procedure.

  • A long-term (chronic), irreversible lung disease, such as emphysema.

 

A chest X-ray is usually done before the procedure. Your doctor may order certain blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC) and bleeding factors, before your procedure.

Pre-Test Guidelines

The patient may be asked to:

  • Stop taking aspirin 7 days before the biopsy;

  • Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, 3 days before the test; and

  • Fast for 6 hours before the procedure.

  • Have a responsible adult to drive you home and spend the night with you

 
Post-Test Guidelines and Care

After the biopsy, pressure is applied on the insertion site for up to 15 minutes to allow the puncture area to close and prevent bleeding.

After a drainage procedure there may be a drainage catheter (tube) left in place. Care of this tube will be reviewed with you prior to you going home.

 
Possible Complications

Percutaneous biopsy or drainage. Minor complications include pain and bruising.

 

The following serious complications occur in less than 1 percent of biopsies:

  • Hemorrhage

  • Sepsis;

  • Pneumothorax, hemothorax, or emphysema; and

  • Death.

 

If the patient has severe, persistent pain or otherwise suspects a complication, he or she should alert the physician immediately.