New Pump Provides Relief for Liver Disease Patients

A painful side-effect of liver disease is a fluid build-up in the patient’s abdominal cavity. Now a new pump is providing relief for liver patients by pumping the abdominal fluids to the bladder where it’s removed from the patient’s body through urination.

The fluid build-up in a patient’s abdominal cavity is called ascites. According to the University of Chicago, some of the symptoms of ascites are a bloated abdominal cavity causing discomfort and shortness of breath. A few causes of ascites include liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis and chronic hepatitis.

The new pump is currently being tested at the Royal Free Hospital in London states BBC News. By continually removing the ascites fluid from the patient’s abdominal cavity, it buys time for the patient who needs a liver transplant, and it may even help the patient’s liver to recover, avoiding the need for a liver transplant.

This new device lies beneath the skin, and pumps the ascites fluid to the patient’s bladder, where it’s removed through urination. Not only does this new pump buy time for liver patients, but it also improves their quality of life.