adventures in minimalist procedures: the one-poke paracentesis (video)

When it’s time for a diagnostic paracentesis, why get the giant kit with a sword-like needle to drain 50 ml of fluid?

This one-poke technique relies on only a few pieces of readily available equipment.


  • Obviously the lidocaine would be more effective with a little bit of dwell time. Some argue it is optional with this small of a needle, though I tend to use it.
  • Make sure to measure the distance to the pocket to ensure the needle length is sufficient. A spinal needle is longer and could be used instead.
  • As always, scan with color doppler for blood vessels when selecting a site.

Do you have other ideas about minimalist procedures? Let me know!


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