Ascitic Fluid Tapping

Ascitic Fluid Tapping Procedure in Hyderabad

What is an Ascitic Tap?

An ascitic tap is a medical procedure where a needle is used to drain fluid that is trapped in an internal body cavity, most commonly the abdomen (belly). Fluid may have to be drained from the abdomen for different reasons, such as if the fluid is stretching the abdomen and causing pain; if the fluid is infected; or if a doctor needs to analyse the fluid in a laboratory for the presence of any disease.
An intensivist (specialist doctor) uses ultrasound to show images or pictures of the inside of the abdomen on a screen to guide the needle to where the fluid is situated.
Other names for an ascitic tap are ‘abdominocentesis’, ‘paracentesis of the abdomen’ or ‘ascitic drain’.

How Do I Prepare For An Ascitic Fluid Tapping?

You may be asked to fast (not to eat or drink for a period of time) before having the procedure. This is very important as your intestines (or bowel) move involuntarily after you eat, which can make the ascitic tap more difficult to carry out.

What Happens During An Ascitic Tap?

You will be asked to lie on your back on a bed and your abdomen will be wiped clean with antiseptic liquid.

The doctor will locate the fluid in your abdomen and determine the easiest way to reach the fluid by using ultrasound images that show the inside of your abdomen on a screen.

How Long Does An Ascitic Tap Take?

The whole procedure, including ultrasound scanning to locate the fluid, setting up the instruments and placing the tube into position, can take between 15 to 30 minutes.
Once the drain tube is in place, you will have to wait for the fluid to drain. This may take from 5 minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of fluid and how fast it drains.
You will be allowed to go home once the fluid has drained out and the drain tube has been removed.

What are the risks of an Ascitic Tap?

• This procedure is low risk.
• The risk of introducing infection into your abdomen or the skin wound is also very low. Many measures are taken by the doctor to minimise this risk.
• There is a small risk that you will continue to drain fluid from the puncture site for many days after the procedure.
• Bleeding is a rare complication
• Damage to adjacent organs is very rare due to the use of an ultrasound machine to guide the procedure.
• If a lot of fluid is removed, you may be dizzy due to low blood pressure. Sometimes this might require intravenous fluids.
• Inform your doctor immediately if you develop a fever, severe pain, redness at the wound site, blood in your urine or bleeding from the site.

What are the benefits of an ascitic tap?

An ascitic tap allows fluid in the abdomen to be removed if it is infected, causing pain or if it requires laboratory analysis to diagnose a disease. An ascitic tap is quicker, easier and safer than other methods that can be used to remove fluid from the abdomen. It also leaves a smaller scar and allows for quicker recovery afterwards.