For more accurate aspiration/drainage, your physician may recommend you have a CT image-guided procedure to guide the insertion of a needle into a pinpointed location in your body to drain an abnormal collection of fluid.

Why use CT to drain your body’s abnormal fluid collection?

Any abnormality in your body can be cause for concern, but in the case of fluid collection left untreated, the results can be harmful. CT guidance allows for a fluid drainage procedure to be much less complicated than traditional means. New Hartford Scanner Associate’s leading-edge CT technology allows your medical team to visualize and detect additional abnormalities surrounding the area of concern. Better visuals mean precise needle placement, with far less opportunity for complications than with traditional fluid collection.

Preparing for CT fluid draining

Please do not eat or drink liquids other than water after midnight before your exam or at least six to eight hours prior if your procedure is later in the day. You may continue your routine medications, but talk to your physician if you are diabetic to determine proper insulin adjustments following your fast. We will either allow you to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing as long as it has no metal in it, or we may provide a gown for you to wear. If you are concerned about anxiety or pain, talk to your medical team about options and alternatives as pain and anxiety medications are available to some patients.

During CT fluid draining

Your technologist will position you on a table for your procedure, cleaning your skin with special soap and then using a small needle to administer a numbing medication. You likely will not feel much after that injection, however some patients do feel pressure during fluid collection. It may take a minute or two to position the needle before collection, but these procedures typically start and finish within 30 to 90 minutes total. Some more involved procedures include a small intravenous line and a longer wait under careful monitoring by our radiology team.

After CT fluid draining

Following your fluid draining, we ask that you remain under observation for two to four hours to allow us to ensure no complications arise as a result of the procedure. Your injection site may be sore for a few days, but you may resume most normal activities that day. It is safest to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 24 hours following your procedure. You may also resume your normal medications immediately as well, however it is not safe to consume aspirin or related products for at least three weeks unless otherwise directed by your physician. Keep the injection site dry and clean until it heals.

If your procedure included tissue or fluid collection for pathology, your physician will review those results with you at a follow-up exam.