Treatment for cardiac tamponade requires removing the fluid from around your heart with a procedure called pericardiocentesis. A provider may also need to repair damage related to the fluid buildup. Which treatment is used for cardiac tamponade? Cardiac tamponade treatment may include using a needle (pericardiocentesis) or performing surgery. Surgery may be a better option if: An injury caused the cardiac tamponade. You have damage that needs to be repaired. A needle can’t reach accumulated fluid. A provider needs to remove your pericardium. In especially severe cases, such as when your heart stops because of cardiac tamponade, a provider can do a thoracotomy by the bedside in the emergency room (ER). Your provider will need to treat the cause of your cardiac tamponade, as well. Depending on what caused your cardiac tamponade and which treatment you had, you may receive pain medications, antibiotics or other medications.