Questions and answers

Can a VP shunt drain too much?

Can a VP shunt drain too much?

Over-drainage: When the shunt allows cerebral fluid to drain from the brain’s ventricles more quickly than it is produced, the ventricles can collapse, tearing blood vessels and causing bleeding in the brain or blood clot, marked by severe headache, nausea, vomiting, seizure and other symptoms.

How is a shunt adjusted?

The amount of CSF your VP shunt drains depends on its pressure setting. With a programmable VP shunt, your neurosurgeon can adjust the shunt’s pressure settings, even after it has been placed. In general, a higher pressure setting means less CSF is being drained.

How are VP shunt adjusted?

Medtronic Neurosurgery makes devices called shunts to treat this condition, which use an implanted, adjustable valve to drain the excess CSF. Their Strata® valves contain a small magnetic rotor that can be rotated by an external magnet to adjust the appropriate CSF pressure for a patient.

What are the signs of a shunt malfunction?

Shunt Malfunction Signs

  • Headaches.
  • Vomiting.
  • Lethargy (sleepiness)
  • Irritability.
  • Swelling or redness along the shunt tract.
  • Decreased school performance.
  • Periods of confusion.
  • Seizures.

How often should a shunt be checked?

All younger patients with a shunt should probably be encouraged to seek a neurosurgical check up at least every three years, ideally at a dedicated hydrocephalus follow up clinic.

Can you live a normal life with a brain shunt?

Overview. Many people with normal pressure hydrocephalus enjoy a normal life with the help of a shunt. Regular, ongoing checkups with the neurosurgeon will help ensure that your shunt is working correctly, your progress is on track, and you are free to keep living the way you want.

How do you know if a VP shunt is malfunctioning?

Symptoms of a shunt malfunction may be obvious, redness over the shunt, headache, sleepiness, vomiting, or visual changes. Symptoms may also be subtle, change in behavior, change in school performance.

What happens if a shunt stops working?

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.

How do you know if a VP shunt is functioning?

Palpate to identify the VP shunt and the reservoir chamber. Compress the chamber. Difficulty compressing indicates distal obstruction. Slow refill (more than 3-5 seconds) indicates proximal obstruction.