Paracentesis is a procedure to remove extra fluid from your belly (abdomen). This fluid buildup in the abdomen is called ascites. The procedure may have been done to take a sample of the fluid. Or, it may have been done to drain the extra fluid from your abdomen and help make you more comfortable.
If you have pain after the procedure, your healthcare provider can prescribe or recommend pain medicines. Take these exactly as directed. If you stopped taking other medicines before the procedure, ask your provider when you can start them again.
Take it easy for 24 hours after the procedure. Don't do any physical activity until your provider says it’s OK.
You will have a small bandage over the puncture site. Stitches, surgical staples, adhesive tapes, adhesive strips, or surgical glue may be used to close the incision. They also help stop bleeding and speed healing. You may take the bandage off in 24 hours.
Check the puncture site for the signs of infection listed below.
Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider as directed. During your follow-up visit, your provider will check your healing. Let your provider know how you are feeling. You can also discuss the cause of your ascites and if you need any further treatment. If your fluid is infected, you will be sent home on antibiotics. In some cases, the paracentesis may need to be repeated if the fluid returns. Your provider may also prescribe medicines that increase urination (diuretics) to decrease the buildup of fluid.
Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following after the procedure:
A fever of 100.4° F ( 38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider
Pain that doesn't go away even after taking pain medicine
Belly pain not caused by having the skin punctured
Bleeding from the puncture site
More than a small amount of fluid leaking from the puncture site
Signs of infection at the puncture site. These include increased pain, redness, or swelling, warmth, or bad-smelling drainage.
Blood in your urine
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, or fainting
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