Doctor insights on:
Exactly how common is vp shunt independence? Will young people eventually outgrow the need for one as they grow older?
Shunt indepedence: A common asked question but a commonly unknown answer. Very few patients with shunts truly become independent, in my own experience it is probably only about 5%. There is a surgery, known as an iiird ventriculostomy where a hole can be made at the base of the brain to bypass the fluid obstruction — if successful the shunt can be removed but not all patients fulfill the criteria for this operation. ...Read more
How common is shunt independence (for vp shunts) how does it happen? Examples of such cases? What's the chance for hydro acquired after tumor removal?
Rarely useful: Theoretically, shunt independence can happen, and I have seen a few patients who may no longer need their shunt. Practically, it is rarely worth thinking about. There is no foolproof way to know if a shunt is still flowing or not. Even if the shunt is draining one drop per day, removing it would lead to return of hydrocephalus, so it's rarely worth trying, and usually best to leave it alone. ...Read more
Why does the reservoir of a vp shunt feel more flat at times? Does that mean there's not a lot to drain? Hydro resolved? Shunt independence?
Hydrocephalus shunts: The flatness comes from the reservoir being depress, it can take time to refill at which points it goes back to its normal contour. If it is refilling then you are likely still shunt dependent. ...Read more
How likely is shunt independence for acquired communicating hydrocephalus? Is it true that once you have a shunt, you're dependent on it forever?
Is it true that vp shunt independence is more common if one hasn't required an urgent evd? Any correlation between dependence+amount of time with evd?
This is a complex issue and cannot be answered in simple terms.
The primary pathology is critical. ...Read more
Is it common for CSF fluid to be drained in alternative passageways for acquired hydro after tumor removal? Chance of shunt independence in such case?
Yes: A shunt is necessary if there is too much cerebral fluid in the brain. The surgeon that put it in will check it periodically to see if it is functioning properly and if drainage needs to be increased or decreased. If there are no symptoms, the shunt is usually left alone. I know patients that have had them since childhood without any problems. Good luck. ...Read more
Shunt: A shunt is a structure or device that transfers body fluid or blood from one area of the body to another area. For example shunts are fashioned to relieve high pressure areas of cerebro spinal fluid by shunting the fluid away to low pressure areas. ...Read more
A hole in the heart: It is literally a hole in the heart. Normally the right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs to get the oxygen whereas the left side of the heart pumps blood to the body. A right to left shunt can cause some blood to bypass the lungs and not carry as much oxygen as it should. ...Read more
Shunt tap.: It is easier to tap the shunt if you are lying on the side opposite the shunt. ...Read more
Tree are a few: Infection, draining too much fluid, bleeding in brain are rare but possible complications. There are a few others that are extraordinarily rare as well. ...Read more
What: Please give more informationGet a more detailed answer ›
Talk to the surgeon: Who placed it.Get a more detailed answer ›
Not clear : The right to left shunt or left to right shunt is usually a congenital defect. The reasons for the defect can be varied but the left to right shunt is better to have but neither is good. The right to left shunt sends unoxygenated blood out to the body. Need to see a cardiologist with possibility of needing surgery. ...Read more
Possibly: If you are having symptoms similar to those you had last time you had shunt malfunction, yes you could be having another one and should see your doctor ...Read more
I have noticed since my shunt was underdraining I am having problems with my memory and thinking issues why is this?
Neurosurgeon: If your shunt is malfunctioning, your neurosurgeon is best qualified to evaluate, advise,treat you and determine what symptoms could be caused by the malfunctioning. ...Read more
My shunt keeps overdraining they've adjusted it a few times and it's still overdraining why and what can they do about it?
Follow: Up with your Neurosurgeon for evaluation of the drain ...Read more
My shunt keeps overdraining they've put it up to 200 I've been on nearly all the settings and it just keeps overdraining what can they do?
Shunt feeling: It is not totally unusual for you to feel a heartbeat in your head when you have a shunt in place. If it persists go to your Neurosurgeon that installed the shunt or the E/R to be examined. ...Read more
Siphon / Anti-siphon: No, all shunts do not have anti-siphon valves and there still remains some controversy whether they make a difference. In theory as you rise from recumbent or seated positions the shunt will "siphon" because of the sudden pressure change with elevation. These devices are supposed to prevent that and thus avoid over shunting, ie, draining too much fluid with resulting disturbances. ...Read more
Depends on cause: Hydrocephalus is just a word to describe too much fluid pressure in the brain. Some babies are born with the condition but become stable and never need a shunt. Some develop the condition due to brain tumor and the shunt just allows for less distress as the tumor is being treated. Some have the condition due to complex congenital abnormalities. In acute pressure, the shunt is life saving. ...Read more