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Ventricular Shunts

Ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VP shunts) are essentially a piece of tubing which drain the excess fluid off the brain to a different part of the body (the peritoneum, within the abdomen or belly), which absorbs this fluid. Nearly all shunts have a valve which regulates flow (so that too much or too little drainage does not occur) we have generally used the adjustable valve (which can be adjusted from outside, without opening the skin, using a magnet). Shunts are placed for various types of hydrocephalus (communicating hydrocephalus, obstructive hydrocephalus, normal pressure hydrocephalus, pseudotumor cerebri, and others). Other types of locations of shunts we have placed include ventriculo-pleural shunts, ventriculo-atrial shunts, and lumbo-peritoneal or lumbo-pleural shunts. The success rate is generally good, with generally low risk. Shunts are one of the more commonly performed procedures in our practice.

Last Modified: February 9, 2010

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