CT Guided Paracentesis

What is a Paracentesis?

A CT scan paracentesis is an exam to drain off fluid in the abdomen.


You will be lying on your back for this exam. The CT scan technologist will scan your abdomen to locate the fluid. The Radiologist (x-ray doctor) will insert a needle/catheter into the abdomen, and fluid will be drained off. The needle will be removed after the procedure is completed. Your abdomen will be rescanned after the fluid has been removed. You may be asked to stay for a few hours for observation, if the Radiologist requests it.

Procedure time: 60 - 90 minutes

Patient Preparation Instructions:

  1. You may be required to have blood work prior to the procedure. Radiology will call you prior to your exam. Outpatient registration will have a copy of your lab work, if needed.
  2. Do not eat or drink 2 hours prior to your test.
  3. You will need someone available to drive you home, only if it becomes necessary.
  4. You can take your normal medications with a small amount of water unless you are on:
    • Aspirin – Stop 3-5 days before exam.
    • Coumadin, Plavix – Stop 3-5 days before exam.
    • Blood Thinners (other) – Stop 3-5 days before exam.
  5. You will be asked to stay for up to 2 hours for observation before being discharged. You will be given instructions prior to leaving.

For Your Information:

  1. After registration you will go to an observation area prior to your exam. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and assessed prior to going to the Radiology Department. You will be taken back to this area following your exam for follow-up assessment.
  2. An IV may be started in your hand or arm, only if the radiologist requests it.
  3. Relax and follow instructions given to you by the CT scan staff.
  4. Please inform Radiology if there is any chance of pregnancy.
  5. The Radiologist will give the results to your doctor. Your doctor will share the results with you; feel free to ask your doctor any questions.
  6. If you have any questions regarding this test, please call 419-394-3335 ext. 3550 for assistance.

Grand Lake Health System
200 St. Clair Street, St. Marys,
Ohio 45885-2400
| 1-419-394-3335 | 1-877-564-6897