Did you know ascites is the most common complication of liver cirrhosis? It affects more than 50 percent of cirrhotic patients within 10 years of diagnosis1.
Despite its frequency in healthcare settings, various misconceptions have developed amongst practitioners regarding the treatment of ascites. Now, it’s time to set the record straight.
Myth #1: There are only two options for paracentesis management procedures: vacuum bottles or wall suction.
False. While glass bottles and wall suction units are still used by some facilities, peristaltic pumps like the RenovaRP™ Paracentesis Management System offer a third treatment option. These pumps use plastic bags that are lighter and easier to store compared with larger glass bottles. RenovaRP is also portable, offering medical staff the ability to perform paracentesis procedures in a variety of clinical settings instead of treating patients stuck — literally and figuratively — to a wall unit.
Myth #2: Paracentesis procedures will always be an infection control nightmare.
It’s true that using glass bottles and plastic canisters for paracentesis can present some serious
exposure risks. With glass bottles comes a fear of breakage, and the needle used throughout the procedure must be removed from one bottle and inserted into the next, increasing the potential for needle sticks. Plastic canisters for wall suction can also leak and create a mess. However, a peristaltic pump offers a closed and clean system, reducing risk of exposure for both patients and staff. Fluid travels from patients directly into drainage bags without ever touching the pump itself. No bottles to break, no canisters to leak. Staff can then dispose of the bags without needing a solidifier; simply place the fluid in a biohazard bag and remain infection-free.
Myth #3: Paracentesis procedures don’t pay.
Incorrect. Reimbursement rates for paracentesis procedures have increased over time, and are continuing to do so. Hospital outpatient procedures serve as a prime example, with reimbursement rates rising over 50 percent from $483 in 2016 to $761 in 2019.
Myth #4: Speeding up a paracentesis procedure requires increasing suction and exposing patients to greater negative pressure.
Nope. With peristaltic pumps like Renova, speed is not dictated by pressure. RenovaRP offers an adjustable rate of speed — a bonus for both procedural control and patient comfort. Practitioners are able to treat patients safely, quickly, and effectively, often in less than 30 minutes per session. What’s more, staff can control speed according to patients’ comfort level, making for a better treatment experience.
Myth #5: Paracentesis procedures will be uncomfortable for patients, and that’s just the way it is.
Again, false. Managing ascites can be a long, repetitive process, but it doesn’t have to be. The adjustable speed and portability of Renova allows staff to perform paracentesis procedures on their terms: the speed the patients need wherever it’s most convenient. These features can drastically improve the patient experience as well, making paracentesis procedures more satisfactory for everyone involved.
While traditional bottle and wall suction methods are still available, those aren’t the only paracentesis management options patients and practitioners have. Treating ascites with a cost-effective, portable peristaltic pump like RenovaRP improves all aspects of paracentesis procedures in the eyes of patients, staff, and purchasing departments alike. Still wondering if RenovaRP is right for you? Download our Paracentesis Buyers Guide to find out:
Want to shatter these myths yourself? Click here to schedule a demo of RenovaRP today.
1 - Annamalai A, Wisdom L, Herada M, et al. Management of refractory ascites in cirrhosis: are we out of date? World J Hepatol. 2016;8(28):1182–1193.