We’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions we get, below. If you’d like to know more, you should consult your physician. In the meantime, you can download our brochure, or contact us directly.

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What is Fluid Overload?

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Fluid Overload, or hypervolemia, is a medical condition where there is too much fluid in the body. Excess fluid, primarily water and sodium, builds up throughout the body and bloodstream which may result in a range of symptoms and possibly hospitalization. Most of the time, the body will naturally dispose of this excess fluid through urination. However, with certain medical conditions, it may be necessary to provide the body with some assistance.

What are the symptoms of Fluid Overload?

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People with Fluid Overload commonly experience the following symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Excess fluid in lungs (pulmonary edema) causing difficulty breathing and/or coughing
  • Noticeable swelling in the arms, legs, or face (peripheral edema)
  • Swelling in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Extreme generalized edema/swelling of the skin (anasarca)
  • Poor wound healing
  • Fatigue

What causes Fluid Overload?

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Fluid Overload occurs when the body can no longer balance sodium and water levels. Excess sodium causes the body to retain more water. If the kidneys are unable to eliminate the excess salt and water, then Fluid Overload occurs.
Certain conditions and procedures make it difficult for the kidneys to keep the balance between sodium and water including:

  • Medical conditions like heart failure, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, and others
  • Procedures like heart surgery and other surgeries
  • Critical care and surgeries including severe infections (sepsis), burns, and trauma

How is Fluid Overload treated?

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The most common therapies for Fluid Overload are medications called diuretics. These are pills prescribed by your doctor to treat various conditions.

Ultrafiltration Therapy with Aquadex works like a mechanical diuretic, that gently and precisely removes excess water and sodium from your blood.

What are diuretics?

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Diuretics, also known as water pills, are drugs that can help your kidneys remove extra fluid from your vascular system. Though they can help treat Fluid Overload, they may not offer the precise fluid removal you may need and their effectiveness can be reduced over time.

How does the Aquadex System work? What is 'Ultrafiltration Therapy'?

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Aquadex is a mechanical pump and filter that allows doctors and nurses to filter precise amounts of excess fluid from the bloodstream, as well as from outside the vascular system and in other parts of your body. This is why for many patients, it can be so effective, so quickly.

Aquadex allows physicians and nurses to filter precise amounts of excess fluid from the bloodstream, as well as indirectly from outside the vascular system in the body’s tissues where swelling is occurring. This is why for many patients it can be so effective, so quickly.

I’ve been told I have Fluid Overload (hypervolemia) — when is it right to start therapy with Aquadex?

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Like diuretic medications, Aquadex Ultrafiltration requires a doctor’s prescription and oversight. Your doctor will talk to you to determine if Ultrafiltration with Aquadex may be right for you. Many patients may benefit from starting Aquadex Ultrafiltration Therapy sooner when diuretics become less effective. Your doctor has ways to test the effectiveness of diuretic medications.

I’ve been prescribed diuretics, how is that different from the Aquadex System?

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Diuretics are medications, typically pills you take orally, that have a chemical effect on your kidneys – often enabling your kidneys to pull fluid from your vascular system more effectively than they would without the medication. However, your body can adapt to diuretic medications over time, making them less effective or not effective at all.

Aquadex works like a mechanical diuretic, where a pump removes a small amount of blood from your body and a filter attached to the pump gently and precisely removes excess water and sodium from your blood, allowing it to return to the body with a better balance. Aquadex overcomes many of the limitations of diuretic medications.

Ultrafiltration with Aquadex is typically delivered over the course of a few treatments at an outpatient facility or during an inpatient stay at a hospital, versus diuretic medications that patients typically take indefinitely.

I believe someone close to me has Fluid Overload, how can I be sure?

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There are several signs and symptoms of Fluid Overload. If you think you or your family member is suffering from Fluid Overload, talk to their doctor or care provider. Need help finding someone to talk to? Visit our Provider Finder to find a doctor close to you.

“Aquadex therapy has given me peace of mind and comfort through these challenging times. It has allowed my father to quickly regain his life activities that he so cherishes.”- Aquadex Patient

Contact us

If you or a loved one is suffering from heart failure induced Fluid Overload, and are interested in Aquadex Ultrafiltration Therapy, we’d love to hear from you.


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success stories

Fluid Overload and its underlying causes can be distressing and confusing, but there’s hope. We’re here to help you on your journey and guide you every step of the way.


Learn about
our solutions

The Aquadex system gently and precisely removes excess fluid from the body. In combination with treating underlying causes, patients can see drastic improvements to their quality of life.