How should patients be positioned for paracentesis?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Vikram Kate, MBBS, MS, PhD, FRCS, FACS, FACG, FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Glasg), FIMSA, MAMS, MASCRS  more...
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Answer

Patients with severe ascites can be positioned supine. Patients with mild ascites may need to be positioned in the lateral decubitus position, with the skin entry site near the gurney. The lateral decubitus position is advantageous because air-filled loops of bowel tend to float in a distended abdominal cavity.


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