My Clalit
News - Year 2017

liver patients

For the first time in Israel: A solution for liver patients suffering from ascites

People suffering from ascites gain about 10 kg a week!!

These patients come to the hospital once a week to pump water from their stomach for several hours

An innovative pump implanted under the skin is controlled by the doctor and drains the water from the abdominal cavity

• Without the patient having to go to the hospital
• Without accumulating water
• Saving both time and resources

Beilinson is the only hospital in Israel that offers an innovative solution for those who suffer from ascites (water accumulation in the abdominal cavity) - a "smart" pump, several centimeters in size, implanted under the skin, extracts the water from the abdominal cavity and passes it to the bladder for removal from the body. All this is done in a planned and controlled manner, at the volumes and times determined by the physician, according to the exact data "collected" by the smart pump. The pump is controlled by the doctor using a "remote control", with the patient out of the the hospital!

he Alfa Pump - how does it work?

A small pump that is inserted under the skin at surgery (like a pacemaker) draws the water from the abdominal cavity and directs it to the bladder. The pump monitors the amount of water in the patient's stomach 24/7 and collects information and data, such as the amount of water pumped. These data are sent via a secure mobile phone network for processing, and transferred directly to the personal computer of the attending physician.

Depending on the received data, the doctor decides how much water to pump and at what intervals, and programs the pump according to the patient's condition and convenience. For example, at night it is possible to reduce the amount of water transferred to the bladder in order to prevent the patient from having to wake up too often. 

The pump is charged by the patient independently by attaching a charger to his abdomen for several minutes.

Dr. Michal Cohen, senior physician at the Beilinson Liver Institute: "Ascites is a condition in which there is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, which causes abdominal swelling, great discomfort and damage to the quality of life. Many liver patients suffer from this condition. The solution currently proposed in Israel is to drain the fluids through an invasive procedure of inserting a needle into the abdomen, performed under hospital conditions. The patient is forced to come to the hospital regularly, sometimes several times a week, for a drainage procedure that takes several hours. This severely affects the quality of life of these patients, who are often unable to work or lead a normal life. The innovative pump enables us to offer patients an advanced, fast and convenient solution that enables them to lead a normal routine, without having to go to the hospital every week."

The patient's evaluation and suitability for using the pump is performed at the Beilinson Liver Institute.
The pump's installation and operation require great skills. The doctors of the Liver Institute and the Surgery Department at Beilinson underwent special training in this field in Switzerland and are recognized by the manufacturer of the Alfa Pump to be international center for installation and operation of the pump.

The pump is not included in the health "basket".