Also known as: shunt surgery, ventriculoperitoneal/ventriculoatrial or ventriculopleural shunting.
What is shunt placement?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is formed by the choroid plexus in the cavities (ventricles) of the brain. This fluid normally flows around the brain and spinal column, being continuously formed and reabsorbed. When there is a blockage in the pathway (from a number of causes) or a problem with the production or reabsorption of the CSF, it collects in the brain cavities (fluid on the brain, or hydrocephalus).
When a small flexible tube (shunt) is placed in a ventricle to drain or bypass a blockage, this procedure is called a shunt placement.
What happens during the procedure?
There are a number of different shunt systems which include re-routing the brain fluid to the abdomen, the heart or lung. In general, an incision is made behind the patient’s ear, and a hole is drilled in the skull. A small silicone tube is placed in the brain ventricle and receiving organ that allows for fluid to drain in one direction with a skull reservoir that allows for testing of the shunt and to check for signs of infection.
Is any special preparation needed?
Since anesthesia is involved, a person may need to avoid food, drink or medications for a set period of time before the procedure.
What are the risk factors?
Blockage (obstruction) of the shunt is one of the most common complications, followed by shunt malfunction. Other complications include infections, bleeding, seizures and other potential side effects.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 7/25/2018 12:05:40 PM
Weekly Support Programs
This program is provided by a certified yoga instructor. It offers children and teens the following benefits: managing stress through breathing, self-awareness, healthy movement and meditation. Yoga also promotes strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Learn more.
From the Newsdesk
Dr. John Ragheb, Director of the Division of Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, is among a group of renowned physicians who developed the first evidence-based guideline in the U.S. on mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and concussions among children, published by the CDC in September.
Dr. Aaron Berger is a pediatriac hand surgeon at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. For more information about the Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Disorders Program, please visit nicklauschildrens.org/BrachialPlexus