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What happens if a shunt gets blocked?

What happens if a shunt gets blocked?

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 shunt is blocked?

Possible signs of CHRONIC shunt blockage may include: Fatigue. General malaise. Visuo-perceptual problems….Possible signs of ACUTE shunt blockage or infection may include:

  1. Vomiting.
  2. Headache.
  3. Dizziness.
  4. Photophobia (sensitivity to light) and other visual disturbances.
  5. Drowsiness.
  6. Fits (seizures)

What is a shunt obstruction?

A shunt blockage from blood cells, tissue, or bacteria can occur in any part of the shunt. Both the ventricular catheter (the portion of the tubing placed in the brain) and the distal part of the catheter (the tubing that drains fluid to another part of the body) can become blocked by tissue.

What is VA shunt?

Ventricular shunts are used to drain cerebrospinal fluid into extra-cranial spaces. Ventriculoatrial (VA) shunts are provided to transfer cerebrospinal fluid from the cerebral ventricle into the right atrium of the heart.

How do I know if my shunt is working?

In many cases, diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or X-rays, is performed to rule in or rule out shunt dysfunction. These imaging tests expose patients to radiation, and many times these tests indicate that the shunt is in fact working properly.

What are the symptoms of a blocked shunt?

Symptoms of Hydrocephalus or a Blocked Shunt 1 Drowsiness 2 Headache 3 Vomiting 4 Irritability More

How to diagnose hydrocephalus from VP shunt blockage?

Moderate-severe resultant hydrocephalus. Extensive periventricular low attenuation in keeping with trans-ependymal edema. On clinical examination, the patients subcutaneous port from the VP shunt was non-compressible in keeping with shunt blockage.

What do you need to know about VP shunt surgery?

About Your Surgery. A VP shunt is used to drain extra cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from your brain. CSF is the fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord. It’s made in the ventricles (hollow spaces) inside your brain.

What happens if you have an infection in a VA shunt?

Infection of a ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt leads to a bloodstream infection and is more concerning than an infection of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. Rarely, chronic infection can cause kidney damage or life-threatening damage to the lungs and heart.