Shunt Placement/Shunt Revision Discharge Instructions

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About the Surgery

What is a shunt?

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A shunt is a tube placed in the fluid spaces of the brain which drains the excess fluid into another area of the body, most often the abdominal cavity, where it can be absorbed. A valve is attach to the shunt to help regulate the pressure within the fluid spaces of the brain (ventricles).

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Day of the Surgery

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  • Your surgical team will be with you every step of the way
  • You will be in the ICU after your surgery
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After the Surgery

What is the post-op home care for Shunt Placement/Revision?

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Incision Care

  • Wash incision daily with shampoo and water (application of antibiotic ointment not necessary unless instructed by Neurosurgery team)
  • You may scrub incision lightly to help prevent scab formation
  • No beach/pool ( 1st month after surgery) or  until cleared by Neurosurgery
  • Avoid direct sunlight on incision ( May wear a cap or hat to go outside)
  • Do not scratch incision


  • Keep activity level  back to normal or light until you are seen in clinic
  • May return to school  after first week post-surgery, unless not cleared by Neurosurgery
  • No participation in Physical Education for 1 month or until cleared by Neurosurgery

Pain control

  • You may take over the counter medications, which include:
    • Acetaminophen every 4 hours or Motrin every 6 hrs if needed (these medications can be alternating)

Follow-up Office Visit

You will be seen in Neurosurgery office approximately 10-14 days after leaving the hospital for symptom evaluation and suture removal, if sutures are not dissolvable

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When To Call

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  • Fever greater than 101.5°F oral or axillary (between 10 days to a month post-Surgery) Highest incidence of post-surgical infection
  • Headaches not relieved with pain medication, and/or associated with nausea/vomiting
  • Increased swelling, redness or oozing from incision area or along shunt tract
  • Fluid  or swelling around valve or shunt tract
  • Fontanel full and tense on infant  who is upright and quiet
  • Infant less interested in feeding or eyes always looking down or irritability
  • Changes in alertness such as increased sleepiness or inability to wake up or stay awake (this symptom requires urgent attention as it can potentially lead to a coma)
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Questions or Concerns?

Call us @ 305-662-8386

This page was last updated on: June 30, 2022 04:35 PM