Information for the public

There is not much good evidence about how well this procedure works, and it can cause serious complications. It can be used but only when patients have regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems.

Long-term liver damage (cirrhosis) can cause fluid build-up in the abdomen (ascites). This can lead to poor appetite, fatigue, difficulty breathing and infection. In this procedure a battery-powered pump is put under the skin. It is connected to the abdomen and bladder by 2 tubes. The battery is charged using wireless technology, which takes about 30 minutes each day. The aim is to pump excess fluid from the abdomen to the bladder where it is passed in the urine.

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3119-4

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