Ventriculoperitoneal shunting is surgery to relieve increased pressure inside the skull due to excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the brain (hydrocephalus)
This article primarily discusses shunt placement in children.
In hydrocephalus, there is a buildup of fluid of the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). This buildup of fluid causes higher-than-normal pressure on the brain. Too much pressure, or pressure that is present too long, will damage the brain tissue.
A shunt helps to drain the excess fluid and relieve the pressure in the brain. A shunt should be placed as soon as hydrocephalus is diagnosed.
RisksRisks for any anesthesia are:
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
- Changes in blood pressure or breathing rate
Risks for any surgery are:
Before the ProcedureIf the procedure is not an emergency (planned surgery):
- Tell your doctor or nurse what drugs, supplements, vitamins, or herbs your child takes.
- Give any drugs the doctor told you to give your child. It is okay if they take them with a small sip of water.
- The doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
Ask your doctor or nurse about eating and drinking before the surgery. The general guidelines are:
Older children should not eat any food or drink any milk for 6 hours before surgery, but they can have clear fluids (juice or water) up until 4 hours before the operation.
Infants fewer than 12 months can usually eat formula, cereal, or baby food until about 6 hours before surgery. They may have clear fluids up until 4 hours before the operation.
After The Procedure
The usual stay in the hospital is 3 to 4 days.The doctor will check vital signs and neurological status often. Your child may get medication for pain. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics are given. The shunt will be checked to make sure it is working properly.
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