Paracentesis What Is It? A paracentesis is a procedure done to remove excess fluid from the abdominal cavity and to provide comfort from weight gain. How Do I Prepare? Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. Discuss with your doctor what medications you should take. If you are taking medication to thin your blood (e.g., Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or aspirin), you should check with your doctor about stopping these medications before this procedure. Medications that your doctor has instructed you to take can be taken with a small amount of water. Be sure to arrange transportation. Someone must stay with you at the hospital until discharge and drive you home. Transportation will be verified before the procedure. You may use a taxi cab for your transportation only if you have a person accompanying you other than the taxi cab driver. Your procedure may be cancelled if these arrangements are not made. What Happens During the Procedure? Consent is signed. Your stomach must be completely empty for the best and safest exam. An intravenous needle (IV) is inserted. Your weight and measurement of your abdomen is taken. Your abdomen is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and medication is injected under the skin to numb the area. Fluid is removed through a needle and collected into a container. Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored throughout the procedure. The procedure takes about 45-60 minutes. Recovery time is about one hour. Plan to be at the hospital a minimum of 2 1/2 hours.