Ultrasound guided drainage of ascites & free fluid
This section will review the use of ultrasound for detection and drainage of free fluid in the peritoneal cavity. We will review a step-wise process to explore 1. ultrasound-based diagnosis of a free fluid in the abdomen 2. common pathologies that may resemble intra-abdominal free fluid and 3. ultrasound-based procedural guidance. Although we have selected a number of drainage devices that are available in the Edmonton zone, the essentials of this procedure remain the same, regardless of the device.
For the sake of simplicity, this page will not review the differential diagnosis (e.g. hemoperitoneum vs cirrhotic ascites), biochemical analysis, decision to whether a patient requires diagnostic or therapeutic drainage, decision to hold anticoagulation/address coagulation factors or adjunctive imaging.
Key references for this approach are at the end of this page.