Nursing care plan for abdominal paracentesis



Abdominal paracentesis is a surgical procedure wherein a needle is used to remove the accumulated intra-abdominal fluid. This surgery, commonly referred to as abdominal tap or paracentesis, is done to diagnose and treat conditions such as cirrhosis, ascites, and peritonitis. A nursing care plan for abdominal paracentesis must be developed to ensure that the patient receives the life-saving care required.


Chief Complaint: Patient has abdominal discomfort.

History of Present Illness: Patient has been having abdominal discomfort for 3 weeks, accompanied by thrice a day vomiting. Mild dry cough was also reported.

Past Medical History: Patient has a history of diabetes and hypertension.

Medication History: Patient was being treated with metformin and enteric coated aspirin.

Physical Assessment: Patient appeared pale and dehydrated. Patient was found to have shallow respirations and tachycardia.

Nursing Diagnosis

The nursing diagnosis for abdominal paracentesis includes:

  • Risk for Fluid Volume Deficit – due to the presence of ascites.
  • Risk for Injury – due to presence of ascites and the use of needle.
  • Pain – due to abdominal discomfort.


The outputs of this care plan should involve:

  • Reduction in volume of ascites.
  • Reversal of the effects of volume overload.
  • Improvement in the overall condition of the patient.
  • Relief of abdominal discomfort.


The interventions which are important to include in the case plan are as follows:

  1. Monitor vital signs and intake/output assigned shifts.
  2. Evaluate amount and type of chest pain or abdominal discomfort present before, during and after procedure.
  3. Administer medication as prescribed before or during the procedure.
  4. Provide skin preparation for paracentesis site before the procedure.
  5. Perform abdominal paracentesis according to the protocol.
  6. After completion of the procedure, monitor patient's response.
  7. Provide comfort measures to relieve pain.


The rationales for each intervention are as follows:

  • Monitoring of vital signs helps to assess the amount of fluid loss.
  • Evaluating pain helps to assess response to the procedure.
  • Administering medications help to reduce pain or anxiety.
  • The skin preparation helps in providing a sterile environment.
  • The abdominal paracentesis helps in removing the fluid.
  • Monitoring the response to the procedure is essential to assess effectiveness of the procedure.
  • Providing comfort measure helps in relieving pain and providing relaxation to the patient.


The successful evaluation of abdominal paracentesis would be when all of the following objectives are met:

  • Patient's volume deficit is reversed.
  • Patient shows improvement in abdominal discomfort.
  • Patient is able to cope with anxiety and fear.


Nursing care plans are essential in providing quality care to patients undergoing procedures like abdominal paracentesis, as they provide clear goals, objectives, and interventions. With the proper evaluation and monitoring, successful outcomes can be ensured prior to, during and after the procedure.


  • What is abdominal paracentesis?Abdominal paracentesis is a surgical procedure wherein a needle is used to remove the accumulated intra-abdominal fluid.
  • What is the purpose of the procedure? The main purpose is to diagnose and treat conditions such as cirrhosis, ascites, and peritonitis.
  • How long does the procedure typically take? The procedure typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the patient's condition and the complexity of the procedure.
  • Are there any risks associated with the procedure? Yes, there are serious risks associated with the procedure. These include infection, bleeding and reaction to anesthetics.
  • How is the procedure performed? A needle is inserted through the abdominal wall to allow removal of the accumulated fluid. The process is monitored throughout, and monitored according to the protocol.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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