Aspira Drain

What is it?

Why is it done?

  • The aspira drain is typically utilized for patients requiring repeated thoracentesis procedures or paracentesis procedures and may allow patients to drain accumulated fluid and manage symptoms related to fluid build up without requiring repeat trips to the hospital. 
  • The aspira drain lets you drain fluid at home. Fluid drainage can help prevent or reduce shortness of breath, cough, abdominal pain or other symptoms.

How is it performed?

  • This procedure usually takes about 1 hour. 
  • First, you will have an IV placed so you can get medicine to help you relax. 
  • Ultrasound and X-ray will be used to help locate the correct place for the drain. 
  • The skin around the procedure site is cleaned and a local numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected into the skin.
  • We will make a small incision in your chest or belly. A catheter will go through that incision and into the fluid. The catheter will be exchanged for the flexible drain. 
  • The provider will then tunnel the drain under your skin and will make another incision where the drain will exit your body. 
  • You may feel some pressure during the placement of the drain. 
  • We will remove fluid from your belly or chest after the drain is placed. 
  • The drain will then be secured in place with a suture. 
  • The nurse will check your blood pressure and pulse throughout the procedure.

What should I expect?

  • You may be asked to hold certain medications in preparation of your procedure. 
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure. 
  • Tell your provider if you have any allergies and if you are pregnant. 
  • You will be taught how to use your new drain before you leave and you should practice draining the fluid from your chest or belly before you leave. 
  • If hospice is involved in your care, they should know how to use this drain. If they have questions or concerns they can call interventional radiology.  

What is my recovery time?

  • You will likely spend 1-2 hours post procedure on bed rest. 

Possible Risks/Complications

  • These include infection (watch for fever, redness, and oozing at your drain site), collapsed lung, a leak around the drain, bleeding, injury to other organs such as your lung, bowel, and liver, low blood pressure if too much fluid is removed, re-expansion pulmonary edema (too much fluid is rem