• 21 May 2012
    University Hospital Zurich and University Inselspital Berne implant their first patients with Sequana Medical’s ALFApump® System

    Zürich-based company Sequana Medical reported that Switzerland’s first patients have received the ALFApump® System. The ALFApump® System is a fully implantable pump system designed to remove excess abdominal fluid, known as ascites, that collects in patients suffering from advanced chronic liver disease.

    "This innovative technology provides us with a new and completely different treatment option for patients with refractory ascites," commented Professor Beat Müllhaupt, University Hospital Zurich, Department for Gastroenterology and Hepatology. "Up to now the only options for these patients were repeated paracentesis, insertion of a TIPS with its associated side effects, or liver transplantation".

    The current standard treatment for refractory ascites is large-volume paracentesis, an invasive procedure in which the ascites is drained over a number of hours through a large-bore needle inserted in the abdomen. However, paracentesis has to be repeated frequently, often every 7-10 days.

    "The ALFApump® System is a real step forward in the treatment of refractory ascites", said PD Dr. med. Andrea De Gottardi, Hepatologist at the Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine of University Inselspital in Berne. "This technology will help improve patient quality of life and may help to decrease healthcare costs by significantly reducing the number of paracentesis procedures in patients with advanced liver disease".

    The ALFApump® System is designed to provide patients with a better quality of life. Patients no longer experience the discomfort of chronic ascites accumulation and the number of hospital visits for drainage procedures drops significantly. Many patients have reported an improvement in their appetite, enabling them to improve their nutrition, which is key to managing their underlying disease.

    "We are delighted to be working University Hospital Zurich and University Inselspital Berne", stated Noel L. Johnson, President and CEO of Sequana Medical. "The ALFApump® System benefits patients, physicians and the healthcare system, and has the potential to become the new standard of care for the management of refractory ascites."