Frequently asked questions

Many patients, physicians, and healthcare professionals have the same or similar questions about draining pleural effusion and ascites. That is why we are making this area available to you. Here we offer answers to the most frequently asked questions to all interested parties. To help you find your answer, the questions are organized into appropriate categories.

Frequently asked questions

Many patients, physicians, and healthcare professionals have the same or similar questions about draining pleural effusion and ascites. That is why we are making this area available to you. Here we offer answers to the most frequently asked questions to all interested parties. To help you find your answer, the questions are organized into appropriate categories.


Yes, if the catheter has been rolled up into a snail and placed on the dressing material and the shower foil dressing carefully encloses the complete dressing material.
Our recommendation: Shower before performing drainage and dressing changes. If the dressing gets soaked during showering, it will be renewed in such a timely manner.

The skin suture (the suture farthest from the catheter exit site) can be removed after 10 days and the tether suture (the suture directly at the catheter exit site) can be removed after 30 days. Stitches are usually removed on an outpatient basis at the hospital where the catheter was implanted. However, thread removal can also be performed by the general practitioner.

There is no time limit for the catheter. Provided that no signs of infection, such as redness, swelling or hyperthermia are associated with the catheter and that good functionality of the catheter is ensured, the catheter remains in place and is not changed. If you are unsure, ask your treating physician.

The drainage material is delivered by the company ewimed directly to your home by a parcel service against a corresponding prescription from your family doctor. The prescription drainage material is not available through medical supply stores or pharmacies.

For more information, please refer to the ewimed care concept.

You can also use the drainage material abroad. You must make sure to order enough drainage material in advance when preparing for your trip. Please also observe the usual disposal regulations of the respective country.

Yes, you will receive in-person training on effusion drainage from our training staff upon discharge from the hospital. He will explain and demonstrate step-by-step what you need to consider for this. Finally, he will also hand you our patient folder, in which all the information is available for you to read again.

Download patient information

If an effusion no longer forms or if your treating physicians decide to remove the catheter for other reasons, the catheter can also be removed again under a local anesthetic.

Yes, we have a long experience in drainage of pleural effusions and ascites. Year after year, several thousand patients receive a pleural catheter and thus regain a piece of their quality of life and mobility.

No, we usually provide one-time training for you, your relatives or even involved care services on how to use the drainage system and ordering. However, if nursing services were not involved from the beginning, for example, follow-up training occurs in individual cases.

Yes, by draining the effusions, complaints such as shortness of breath or a feeling of tension in the abdomen do not occur and you become more mobile and resilient in everyday life again.

In principle, showering with the catheter is possible. However, prolonged contact with water should be avoided. So swimming or bathing are not possible. Visiting a sauna is also not recommended, as the high temperatures may cause the catheter valve to leak.

Talk about this with your treating physician before your trip. He can give you information about this, depending on your individual condition.

In any case, if you are going on a long trip, you should also remember to order enough drainage material in advance. See also Can I go on vacation with it? Also abroad?

If you experience any discomfort regarding your catheter or effusion while traveling, consult a local physician immediately.

Yes, improper handling may cause damage to the catheter. Please be sure to read the operating instructions carefully.

No, the drainage set is intended for single use and must not be used more than once for hygienic reasons and the risk of infection.

After drainage, please dispose of the used drainage material in the household waste. Please observe the local regulations for disposal here. Contained plastics do not have to be separated.

If you still do not feel any relief in breathing after drainage has been performed, contact your treating physician. Your doctor or the clinic treating you knows your disease course and can tell you the cause after an examination.

If the effusion color or composition changes, this is not an acutely threatening situation. Your attending physician can explain what is causing this based on your disease history. However, if there is blood in the effusion, you should see your doctor immediately.

Billing questions

No, the drainage sets are not available in pharmacies or medical supply stores, but exclusively through the company ewimed. After your primary care physician has filled the original prescription as shown on the sample prescription in the patient information, send it to us using the enclosed postage-paid envelope from the patient folder. We will then have the drainage material sent to you via a parcel service.
Privately insured patients order the goods from us by phone and pay the bill as usual. The bill and prescription are then submitted to the health insurance company for reimbursement by the health insurance company.

Yes, if you are payment-exempt, the cost of home drainage kits is covered by your health insurance. If you are not exempt from payment, you will be sent a bill for supplies. The amount may vary for this purpose.

The prescriptions for the drainage sets for home care are issued by the family doctor or your treating specialist.


Since two incisions were made to implant the catheter, a total of two sutures must be removed by a physician at the implanting clinic or, in individual cases, by the patient’s family physician. The skin thread after 7 – 10 days and the retaining thread, at the exit point of the catheter only after approx. 30 days.

Yes, but care must be taken to ensure that the dressing around the catheter has again been completely covered with the shower film dressing and that the valve has been placed on the compresses under the film.

There is no time limit for the catheter, it usually does not need to be changed. However, if drainage is no longer possible due to the viscosity of the effusion despite flushing of the catheter, the catheter has been damaged by improper handling, or there is an infection associated with the catheter, the catheter may need to be changed or explanted.
Further reasons for changing or explanting the catheter can be found in the detailed description of explantation.

After discharge from the hospital, the patient is provided with the first drainage material by our training staff, within a training session. You can find out more about this under Discharge Management. Subsequently, the material is prescribed by the patient’s attending general practitioner. The ewimed company sends the drainage material directly to the patient’s home after receiving the prescription. The drainage sets are declared as aids and require a prescription. They are not available through medical supply stores or pharmacies. You can find out more about this under Processes.

The reasons for this can be varied and depend on the individual course of your patient’s disease. Imaging procedures, such as sonography, X-ray or CT, can contribute to a differentiated decision. Chronic concomitant diseases should also be taken into account by you, as the symptoms may be similar or overlapping. For more info, see our clinic guide. In any case, check the condition of the catheter and flush it if necessary. Flush catheter

The effusion color can change over time, varying from light yellow to dark amber. The effusions may contain blood coagulum or protein filaments, resulting in a cloudy or milky consistency. But also a clear outpouring, without components is possible. Again, your patient’s individual condition is important. If the effusions are bloody, the cause of the bleeding source must be found out. This may require inpatient hospitalization.

Home care

A total of two sutures must be removed. Usually this is done in the clinic where the implantation was done, but sometimes it is done directly by the patient’s family doctor. The skin thread after 7 – 10 days and the holding thread only after approx. 30 days.
For more information, see Removing the surgical stitches

After the catheter is properly covered with the foil dressing, your client can shower.
We recommend showering prior to drainage, as this allows for prompt dressing changes should the dressing become wet during showering.

As long as the catheter is functioning and no infection is evident, the catheter is not changed. However, contact the patient’s attending physician if you suspect anything.

To obtain the drainage material, your client will need a prescription from their primary care physician, as it is not available at medical supply stores or pharmacies, the prescription must be sent to us. For this purpose, postage-paid envelopes are available in the patient folder that your client received from our staff during training. You can find out more about this in the ewimed care concept.

If breathing problems persist after drainage has been completed, contact the attending physician or the implanting clinic for further clarification or diagnostics. The causes for this can be very different and depend on the individual course of the disease of your client.

The effusion color may change over time. From pale yellow to dark amber effusions; cloudy, milky effusions with or clear effusions without components are possible. Again, your client’s individual condition is the determining factor. If the effusions are bloody, the attending physician should be informed. The further procedure lies within the medical decision-making framework.

For proper performance of a dressing change in patients with catheters for drainage of pleural effusion or ascites, we have compiled a number of aids for you in the form of documents or training videos in our download area.

If you still have questions about this topic, please feel free to ask us in person.

How often the dressing needs to be changed in your patient with implanted catheter for drainage of pleural effusions and ascites depends, among other things, on the drainage interval. A dressing change is necessary after each drainage. The dressing must also be changed after every shower. From a hygienic point of view, we recommend changing the dressing every second day at the latest. In patients with a weeping wound, as is usually the case immediately after implantation, the dressing should be changed at least once a day.

We will be happy to assist you with advice.


No. The drainova® reservoir is equipped with a check valve. This effectively prevents effusion from flowing back at any time during drainage.

No. The drainage scale serves as a stop element and prevents liquid from being drawn in beyond the maximum filling capacity of the drainova® reservoir. In addition, the integrated check valve effectively protects against overflow of drained effluent.

The drainage volume can be read at any time via the attached scale. The reading is taken from the upper retaining knob of the drainova® reservoir.

Do not read off the amount of liquid from the liquid level as you do with the PleurX™ bottles! The scale is calibrated for reading by means of the upper retaining knob.

Before emptying the drainova® reservoir, a new dressing should be applied over the catheter (see instructions for use). To empty the reservoir, proceed as follows:

  1. Place the reservoir on the floor. Open the pinch clamp and hold the hose up. Residual liquid can drain off through this.
  2. Close the pinch clamp.
  3. Cut the hose below the check valve.
  4. Hold the reservoir upside down and place the opening of the hose above the WC.
  5. By compressing the reservoir, the emptying process begins.
  6. When the reservoir is empty, attach the orange fuse and dispose of it in the plastic bag according to local regulations.

Note: In the case of known infectious pleural effusion or ascites, if disposal is not performed by the patient, the filled reservoir can be separately sealed in a garbage bag, disposed of in the residual waste after completion of drainage.

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