Does a shunt cure hydrocephalus?
Overview. Although there is currently no cure for hydrocephalus, a shunt, like those from Medtronic, can help relieve some of the symptoms of the condition.
How does a shunt work for hydrocephalus?
VP shunts are placed to treat hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus (hi-droh-SEF-eh-less) happens when CSF does not drain out of the hollow spaces inside the brain (called ventricles) as it should. VP shunts drain the extra fluid and help prevent pressure from getting too high in the brain.
How long does a shunt revision take?
The operation usually takes between one and two hours. The area from the head to the abdomen (belly) is scrubbed with a special soap. The surgeon makes incisions (cuts) on the head and abdomen.
What should you avoid with a VP shunt?
However, people with LP shunts should avoid any activity which involves twisting at the waist, as this can dislodge the shunt.
- Martial arts. Any activity that involves being grabbed around the neck is not advised, as the shunt tubing in the neck can crack.
- Gymnastics and dance.
- Water sports.
- Other activities.
Can you fly with a shunt in your brain?
Flying. Flying in a regular commercial jet is fine for most people with shunts. If you were told years ago not to fly, it’s worth asking your neurosurgeon again as things have changed. Some people will have been told by their neurosurgeon not to fly, for specific reasons, so do check if this applies to you.
What happens if a shunt fails?
A shunt blockage can be very serious as it can lead to an build-up of excess fluid in the brain, which can cause brain damage. This will cause the symptoms of hydrocephalus. Emergency surgery will be needed to replace the malfunctioning shunt.
Can your body reject a VP shunt?
A shunt blockage from blood cells, tissue, or bacteria can occur in any part of the shunt. Both the ventricular catheter (the portion of the tubing placed in the brain) and the distal part of the catheter (the tubing that drains fluid to another part of the body) can become blocked by tissue.
How do I know if my shunt is working?
In many cases, diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or X-rays, is performed to rule in or rule out shunt dysfunction. These imaging tests expose patients to radiation, and many times these tests indicate that the shunt is in fact working properly.
How often should a shunt be replaced?
It is difficult to predict how long shunts will last, but some practitioners note that about half of all shunts need to be revised or replaced after 6 years.