Shunt Surgery: Recovery & Risks of Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Insertion

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Insertion

Shunt surgical operation is a relatively easy and uncomplicated procedure but the decision to pursue such operation shouldn’t be taken lightheartedly. A shunt operation is done to treat hydrocephalus, in kids and in adults. Many risks come with performing the operation. The procedure should only be done only depending on the severity of the disability and its progression.

  • Also known as ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion or operation.
  • The procedure places a shunt into the brain’s lateral ventricle with the end of shunt placed into the peritoneal cavity.
  • The excess cerebrospinal fluid or CSF is absorbed into the peritoneal cavity where it can be eliminated from the body.
  • The result is reduced hydrocephalus and the returning of the ICP or intracranial pressure back to accepted limits.

Shunt Surgery Risks

  • The risks of surgery can occur during or after the procedure.
  • Some of the risks include the development of infection of the surgical wound or of the CSF, bleeding inside the brain or ventricles, and seizure.
  • Some risks of the surgery can even occur weeks to years after surgery and the most common delayed risk is that of clogging of the shunt.
  • The potential of developing a subdural hematoma or blood clot is one of the most serious risks that this type of surgery carries because of the nature of the procedure.

Shunt Surgery Recovery

  • After surgery, the patient needs to be placed on strict neurological observation for the first 24 hours.
  • Hospitalization after surgery generally ranges from three to seven days.
  • Follow-up visits are necessary to check on the patient’s post-operative condition.
  • Physical therapy may be ordered as additional treatment in order for the patient to attain his or her previous motor skill levels.