Pericardiocentesis is an invasive process that requires removing fluid around the heart’s sac using a needle and a catheter. The fluid is then investigated for the presence of infection or carcinoma. Local anaesthesia is given to numb the chest region. The whole process takes around 40 to 60 minutes. Pericardiocentesis is also used to treat cardiac tamponade which weakens the heart’s blood-pumping ability.