Reducing your risk of complications

You can reduce the risk of some complications by following your treatment plan and: 

  • Following activity, dietary and lifestyle restrictions and recommendations 
  • Informing your doctor or radiologist if you are nursing or there is any possibility of pregnancy
  • Notifying your doctor immediately of any concerns, such as bleeding, fever, or increase in pain
  • Taking your medications exactly as directed 
  • Telling all members of your care team if you have any allergies

How do I prepare for my aspiration?

You are an important member of your own healthcare team. The steps you take before your aspiration can improve your comfort and outcome. 

You can prepare for an aspiration procedure by:

  • Answering all questions about your medical history and medications. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. It is a good idea to carry a current list of your medical conditions, medications, and allergies at all times.
  • Learning about the procedure and asking any questions you may have
  • Taking or stopping medications exactly as directed. This may include not taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and blood thinners.

Questions to ask your doctor

Having an aspiration can be stressful. It is common for patients to forget some of their questions during a brief doctor’s office visit. You may also think of other questions after your appointment. Contact your doctor with concerns and questions before your aspiration and between appointments.

It is also a good idea to bring a list of questions to your appointment. Common questions include:

  • Why do I need aspiration? Are there any other options for diagnosing or treating my condition?
  • How long will the procedure take? When can I go home?
  • What restrictions will I have after the procedure? When can I expect to return to work and other activities?
  • What kind of assistance will I need at home? Will I need a ride home?
  • How should I take my medications? 
  • How will you manage my pain?
  • When and how will I get my test results?
  • What other tests might I need?
  • When should I follow-up with you?
  • How should I contact you? Ask for numbers to call during and after regular hours.

What can I expect after my aspiration?

Knowing what to expect after aspiration can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.

How will I feel after the aspiration?

You might feel a little drowsy if you had sedative and pain medications. You may have mild soreness, tenderness or pain after the procedure. 

Take pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), only as directed by your doctor. Some people with certain conditions should not take NSAIDs. Your doctor will give you specific instructions based on the type of aspiration and your condition.

When can I go home?

You will go home right away after an outpatient aspiration. You will need to stay in the outpatient facility or hospital for a short period of time if you had sedation or pain medication. You will be discharged home when you are alert, breathing effectively, and your other vital signs are stable. This generally takes less than an hour.

You should not drive for about 24 hours after sedation and will need a ride home because you will still be drowsy. Someone should stay with you for the first day or so.

When should I call my doctor?

It is important to keep your follow-up appointments after an aspiration.  Call your doctor if you have any concerns including:

  • Bleeding, including vaginal bleeding after an amniocentesis
  • Drainage from the site or leakage of fluid from the vagina after an amniocentesis
  • Fever (you should not have any fever after aspiration)
  • New or unexplained symptoms
  • Pain that is not controlled by your pain medication, new pain, or increase in pain
  • Rash or skin irritation
  • Swelling, warmth or redness over the aspiration site