Patients who have communicating hydrocephalus or who have failed an ETV may benefit from the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP Shunt). This device drains cerebrospinal fluid from the brain to the abdominal cavity with a thin silicone tube. A valve is used to control the amount of fluid drained.
This common procedure is performed with a “GPS” neuronavigation system to ensure accurate catheter placement. There are a variety of valves available, though we prefer one of a few programmable valves. These valves may have an MRI lock system to prevent unwanted shunt adjustments in a magnetic field. Some have “Off” switches to determine the necessity of the shunt without requiring to perform a surgical procedure to tie it off.
The abdominal portion of the catheter is placed laparoscopically with the assistance of a general surgeon, ensuring correct placement of the catheter and minimizing the risk of abdominal organ injury.
Though a common procedure, this device can have some complications during and after placement. These include catheter misplacement, catheter dislodgement, valve obstruction, shunt infection, abdominal organ injury, overdrainage, possible revision surgery or removal surgery and intracranial bleeding (acute or delayed).