Aquapheresis (ultrafiltration of blood)
In heart failure patients, salt and water can build up in the body. Serious complications may develop from this fluid build-up, including swelling, weight gain, and shortness of breath from lung congestion. Patients with these problems often require hospitalization. This happens because their organs, already under stress from the decreased blood flow of heart failure, are further strained by the added fluidic pressure.
Aquapheresis is an ultrafiltration method of removing excess water and salt from the blood. The Comprehensive Heart Failure Program team uses the special aquapheresis technology of the Aquadex FlexFlow system® to monitor and remove fluid build-up in patients with congestive heart failure. The filtered blood is then safely reintroduced into the patient’s body within a minute.
Patients are monitored by Pilla Heart Center cardiologists and advanced medical professionals throughout the process. Electrolyte balance is maintained throughout the therapy. Treatment duration depends on the patient’s condition, but the average length of the procedure is 24 hours. Patients may begin to feel better immediately, or gradually experience lessening of symptoms in accordance with the severity of their conditions.
Aquapheresis therapy restores fluid balance, helping patients feel better and possibly be discharged faster. The Comprehensive Heart Failure Program has offered this therapy since 2009 and has seen fewer readmissions and greater improvement in overall quality of life for our patients.
Read about a congestive heart failure patient who was treated with aquapheresis therapy.
For expertise on aquapheresis, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center and Comprehensive Heart Failure Program.