Wearable Artificial Kidney

Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK)

The use of dialysis to treat those with poorly functioning kidneys has come a long way since 1943, when Willem Johan Kolff built the first working dialyzer. In the intervening years, improvements have been made as technology and medical science advanced. Still, one of the principal drawbacks to dialysis is that the equipment is still bulky and requires the patient to remain attached to the machine for many hours. This limitation has been overcome by the pioneering work of Dr. Victor Gura, an internationally known kidney specialist and internist, with the creation of the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™).

What Is a Wearable Artificial Kidney?

The WAK™ is a miniaturized dialysis machine that a patient can wear 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The WAK™ was developed after decades of research. A device prototype has been clinically tested in Europe and the US, but it is still experimental and not currently FDA approved for public use.

The WAK™ can be ergonomically adapted to the patient’s body for maximum comfort while being worn. The WAK™ has been designed for continuous use to allow for a far more effective method to remove excess fluids, salt, and waste.

Dr.Gura’s first human trial of the Wearable Artificial Kidney demonstrated the proof of concept of the device. As featured in kidneynews.org. – Read More
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Key Potential Benefits of the WAK™

There are several benefits expected with the use of the WAK™. These include:

Better Blood Pressure Regulation

Daily dialysis normalizes the blood pressure of dialysis patients, which may greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for some blood pressure medications.

Avoid Retained Fluid

Retaining excess water within the body is a major issue in patients with kidney failure, as they produce little to no urine. This retained fluid accumulates in the lungs, causing severe breathing problems. The removal of this fluid through conventional dialysis is uncomfortable and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Daily dialysis, as with the WAK™, should alleviate these problems.

Effective Salt Removal

Conventional dialysis treatments do not remove enough salt from the body – but daily dialysis does. The accumulation of excess salt in ESRD patients is a common cause of high blood pressure and heart failure.

Improved Nutrition

Patients dialyzed with conventional dialysis are often malnourished, which increases the chance of infection and other complications. Daily dialysis has been shown to eliminate malnutrition in dialysis patients. In human and animal studies, the WAK™ has shown the same biochemical effects as daily dialysis, meaning that it is likely to help eliminate malnutrition.

Cut Down on Travel Time & Cost

The WAK™ should be a tremendous benefit to patients who live in rural areas. The use of this device should help reduce the hardship and cost it takes to travel to distant dialysis units.

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Nephrologist in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, CA

Victor Gura, MD
Dr. Victor Gura is a world-renowned board-certified internist and nephrologist serving patients throughout the Beverly Hills, California area. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and dialysis technology in addition to internal medicine, Dr. Gura offers patients a comprehensive array of treatment options using the most advanced techniques and approaches to care, including treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and proteinuria, as well as routine physical exams and preventative medicine aimed at helping patients maintain optimal health at every age and every stage of life.

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In the press

As an internationally known kidney specialist and Internist, Dr. Victor Gura has appeared on various news programs and in print. His invention of the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK™), the revolutionary medical device that allows the patient to go about their normal routine while undergoing daily dialysis, has been heavily discussed in the media.
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