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VENTRICULAR-PERITONEAL SHUNT (VP Shunt)

Dad is having this procedure next Tuesday to relieve the pressure on his skull (normal pressure hydrocephalus).

The neurosurgeon is the same one who successfully operated on my mom.

While the Alzheimer’s is there, the pressure should help with the symptoms involving gait, urinary incontinence, and dementia–in that order.

There is the risk of a stroke.

Please keep him in your thoughts.

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What is a VP Shunt and what does it do? This is a device which drains the extra fluid in the brain into the peritoneal cavity where the fluid can be absorbed. The Ventricular Catheter (see What is a Shunt? or the diagram below to review the different parts of a shunt) may enter from various positions of the skull, most commonly from the right front top of the skull or from the right back side of the skull just above and behind the ear. This allows the catheter to pass through a relatively silent portion of the brain which minimizes risk of complications. The ventricular catheter attaches to the one way valve which is placed under the skin on the outside of the skull. From the valve, the distal shunt tubing is tunneled underneath the skin down to the abdomen. It is placed into the peritoneal cavity which is a membranous fluid filled sac which encloses many of the abdominal organs such as the liver, spleen, intestines. The fluid is released into this cavity and absorbed. Basic Parts Of A Shunt There are many different kinds of shunts. All have three basic parts: a Ventricular Catheter, a Shunt Valve and a Distal Catheter. See What is a Shunt? for more details.

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~ by Butch on July 23, 2012.

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