Major milestone achieved in the commercial launch of new technology in the treatment of patients with refractory ascites due to liver cirrhosis.
Sequana Medical, the Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital (AKH Wien) reported that the first two commercial implants worldwide of the ALFApump System were performed at Vienna General Hospital in October, under the supervision of Univ. Prof. Dr. Markus Peck-Radosavljevic, Vice-Chairman, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Chairman: Prof. Dr. M. Trauner), Dept. of Internal Medicine III. Vienna General Hospital is one of Europe's largest teaching hospitals. The ALFApump System is indicated for the management of refractory and recurrent ascites due to liver cirrhosis, a condition where massive and uncontrolled fluid accumulation occurs in the abdominal cavity.
"I believe that the ALFApump System represents a real breakthrough in the treatment of refractory ascites. By using the ALFApump, the patient no longer has to return to the hospital on a frequent basis to undergo drainage procedures. This positively impacts on both Quality of Life of the patient and the financial burden to the healthcare system. The implant procedure for both patients went smoothly and without complications", commented Professor Peck-Radosavljevic.
Refractory ascites occurs when patients with ascites no longer respond to medical therapy. This condition affects over 100,000 patients in Europe and the US every year. The number of patients suffering from ascites is growing at approximately 10% a year due to the accelerating incidence of hepatitis- and obesity-related liver disease. The primary treatment for ascites is paracentesis, a procedure in which a large bore needle is inserted into the patient's abdomen to remove between 5-10 litres of ascites that has accumulated over a period of a week or two. The cumulative cost of ascites-related care for these patients often exceeds €40,000 each year.
The ALFApump System consists of a subcutaneously implanted battery-powered pump with a catheter placed in the abdominal cavity and another catheter connected to the bladder. The ALFApump System automatically and continually collects fluid as it forms in the abdominal cavity and moves it to the bladder, where it is eliminated through normal urination. The ALFApump is recharged wirelessly and can be programmed to meet the unique needs of each patient.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Professor Peck-Radosavljevic, the Medical University of Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital team", stated Dan Rose, Vice President of Commercial Operations. "The ALFApump System is designed to offer patients better clinical outcomes and quality of life while eliminating the requirement for repeated expensive and burdensome invasive procedures."