what is refractory ascites?
is fluid that collects in the abdomen and can be a symptom of liver cirrhosis, certain types of cancers or congestive heart failure. For most patients, diuretics and special diet are enough to remove this fluid.
is ascites that doesn't get better with diuretics. Up to 10% of people with ascites fall into this category. Over 100,000 people suffer from refractory ascites in Europe and the US every year.
of refractory ascites can be painful and upsetting. As more and more fluid collects, the abdomen becomes very swollen, making it uncomfortable to sit up or walk. Common symptoms include tiredness, fatigue, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. Too much pressure inside the abdomen can lead to the development of hernias around the belly button or in the groin. Patients with ascites are also at high risk of other complications, such as peritoneal infection and hepatorenal syndrome.
is the most common treatment for refractory ascites. Paracentesis is a procedure in which ascites is drained over a number of hours through a large needle inserted in the abdomen. This procedure must be repeated when ascites comes back, often on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Ascites caused by liver cirrhosis can also be treated with the implantation of a Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS)
. TIPS often reduce ascites accumulation but has quite a high risk of significant side effects and can't be performed on all patients due to age and other restrictions.
our solution to refractory ascites
Sequana Medical's ALFApump® System is a new treatment option for refractory ascites. Removing ascites as it forms prevents the massive accumulation of ascites and its related symptoms. The ALFApump® System has the potential to improve quality of life and also reduce healthcare costs.
ALFApump® and Catheters (fully implanted)
This Automated Low-Flow Ascites Pump (ALFApump®) System is an implantable pump system that removes ascites as it forms by moving it to the bladder where it is eliminated from the body through normal urination.
Smart Charger & Docking Station (for the patient)
This wireless charger is able to charge the ALFApump® through the skin when held on the stomach. While charging, history of all pump activity is transferred to this charger. This history can be accessed by your physician during follow-up visits and settings can be changed wirelessly.
System is CE marked for patients with refractory ascites because of liver disease and made in Switzerland. This system is not cleared for distribution in the U.S.A. or its territories. If you are interested in more information about the ALFApump®
System, please contact us by phone or by email as provided in the 'contact us' section.