The excess build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity, termed ascites, is a common complication among patients with late-stage liver disease, certain cancers and congestive heart failure. When ascites cannot be controlled with a special diet or medication, it is described as being ‘refractory’ to medical therapy, and the only option for the patient is to have the ascites removed periodically.
There are around 100,000 patients living with refractory ascites in Europe and the US. Refractory ascites is a growing problem, and the number of patients with the condition is increasing by about 10% per year due to a rise in the incidence of alcoholic and viral cirrhosis and a new population of patients with obesity-related liver disease.
The most common treatment for refractory ascites is paracentesis, an invasive procedure in which a large-bore needle is inserted into the abdomen, to drain the fluid over a period of a few hours. The alfapump® system offers patients suffering from refractory ascites with a completely new and much-needed treatment option for the management of their ascites.
For more information on the alfapump® system, please visit our dedicated website