How does an LP shunt work?

Asked By: Newton Florio | Last Updated: 16th May, 2020
Category: healthy living senior health
4.5/5 (247 Views . 21 Votes)
A lumbar peritoneal (LP) shunt is a technique of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion from the lumbar thecal sac to the peritoneal cavity. It has an advantage over the VP shunt of being completely extracranial and can be used under conditions other than hydrocephalus when the ventricles are normal sized or chinked.

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In this regard, how long does a LP shunt last?

It is difficult to predict how long shunts will last, but some practitioners note that about half of all shunts need to be revised or replaced after 6 years.

Additionally, what are the side effects of having a shunt? Some of the most common risks of CSF shunts include infection, shunt malfunction, and improper drainage. Infection from a shunt may produce symptoms such as a low-grade fever, soreness of the neck or shoulder muscles, and redness or tenderness along the shunt tract.

Also question is, how dangerous is shunt surgery?

Risks of VP shunting Placement of a shunt is a very safe procedure. However, complications can occur during or after the procedure. Risks associated with any surgical procedure include excessive bleeding and infection.

What is a shunt in the spine?

A spinal shunt (also known as a lumbar shunt) is designed to bypass, or redirect, bodily fluids from one point in the body to another. Two types of lumbar shunts include Lumbar-peritoneal (LP) and Lumbar-subcutaneous (LS), although the LP shunt is most common.

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Can you live a normal life with a shunt?

Can I live a normal life with a shunt? Most of hydrocephalic patients will be required to keep their CSF shunt all life long. One of the advantages of this therapy is that it allows you to have a normal daily life. The shunt will restore the CSF circulation to regulate its flow.

How do you check if VP shunt is working?

Children and Adults
  1. Vomiting.
  2. Headache.
  3. Vision problems.
  4. Irritability and/or tiredness.
  5. Swelling along shunt tract.
  6. Personality change.
  7. Loss of coordination of balance.
  8. Difficulty waking up or staying awake (this symptom requires urgent attention as it can potentially lead to a coma)

Can you fly with a shunt in your brain?

Neither daughter has problems with flying; one has a venticuloperitoneal shunt (VP) shunt, the other a ventriculoatrial (VA) shunt. If you are traveling overseas, contact HA to get further information regarding available surgeons/facilities. You may want to purchase travel insurance just as a safety net.

How much does VP shunt surgery cost?

On MDsave, the cost of a VP Shunt Revision is $7,276. Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance can shop, compare prices and save.

How do you take care of a VP shunt?


DO NOT shower or shampoo your child's head until the stitches and staples have been taken out. Give your child a sponge bath instead. The wound should not soak in water until the skin is completely healed. DO NOT push on the part of the shunt that you can feel or see underneath your child's skin behind the ear.

What happens when a shunt fails?

Shunt malfunction is a partial or complete blockage of the shunt that causes it to function intermittently or not at all. When a blockage occurs, CSF accumulates and can result in symptoms of untreated hydrocephalus. A shunt blockage from blood cells, tissue or bacteria can occur in any part of the shunt.

Is shunt surgery painful?

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery (VP shunt surgery) helps control pressure in your brain by draining extra fluid out of your brain and into your belly. After surgery, your neck or belly may feel tender. You will probably feel tired, but you should not have much pain.

Is a shunt permanent?

Depending on the circumstances, a VP shunt can be temporary or permanent. If the cause of your hydrocephalus is idiopathic (unexplained), congenital (present from birth), or the result of a defect in the anatomy of the brain or spine, there is a strong chance that you will need to have your VP shunt for the long term.

Does hydrocephalus shorten life?

Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

Does hydrocephalus affect memory?


Symptoms of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Mild dementia is described as a loss of interest in daily activities, forgetfulness, difficulty dealing with routine tasks and short-term memory loss.

Do they shave your head for shunt surgery?

VP Shunt Surgery. Once you're asleep, the doctor will shave off some hair near the area where they will make the incision (surgical cut) on your head. Your entire head won't be shaved. Your doctor will make 3 small incisions: 1 in your head, 1 in your neck, and 1 in your abdomen.

Can a person with a shunt have an MRI?

Some types of programmable VP shunts aren't affected by MRI. Ask your neurosurgeon or NP if your shunt will need to be reprogrammed after an MRI. You don't need to take any precautions if you're having a computed tomography (CT) scan or x-ray.

How long does shunt revision surgery take?

The operation usually takes between one and two hours. The area from the head to the abdomen (belly) is scrubbed with a special soap. The surgeon makes incisions (cuts) on the head and abdomen.

What are the primary signs of a shunt infection?

The symptoms of a shunt infection may include:
  • redness and tenderness along the line of the shunt.
  • a high temperature.
  • headache.
  • vomiting.
  • neck stiffness.
  • tummy pain if the shunt drains into your tummy.
  • irritability or sleepiness in babies.

What happens after tube shunt surgery?


Complications of tube-shunt surgery that may occur right after surgery include: High pressure in the eye, causing the space in the front part of the eye (anterior chamber) to collapse (malignant glaucoma). Softening of the eyeball due to fluid loss (hypotony).

What are the different types of shunts?

Most common shunt systems:
Shunt Pathway Shunt Type CSF Inflow Location
Ventriculo-peritoneal VP Ventricle
Ventriculo-atrial VA Ventricle
Ventriculo-pleural VPL Ventricle
Lumbo-peritoneal LP Lumbar spine

Can you go through airport security with a VP shunt?

Programmable shunt valves can be affected by strong magnets, possibly changing the pressure setting of the shunt. MRI scanners use strong magnets. Metal detectors, security scanners at airports and shops, microwave ovens and mobile phones will not affect the valve.