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Old 11-23-2005, 01:17 PM   #1
tr3 tr3 is offline
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Question Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

Hello,

I'm a 28 years old male. I had a brain MRI done last week because I have been having symptoms like dizziness, brain fog, forgetfulness, decreased cognitive skills and constant pressure behind both eyes. The result came out with "mild ventriculomegaly", which means my ventricles are larger than normal due to excess fluid in the brain forcing them to expand. This condition is called Hydrocephalus, which is fatal if left untreated. I was told that the most efffective way to remedy this is to have a "shunt" implanted in my brain to act like a valve to relieve the fluid pressure by allowing the fluid to flow somewhere else.

Anybody who has done this, or knows someone who has done this, or has knowledge about this procedure, please let me know anything that will help me prepare for what's about to happen to me in a few weeks. I would like to know the following:

1. How effective has shunt been to you at "giving your life back"? How has your life been?
2. Are there things you wished you had known before the implant?
3. Were there any complications after the surgery?
4. How much did the operation cost?
5. Do you have to regularly see your doctor to have the system checked/maintained?
6. Anything else I should know? Anything at all.

Thanks!

 
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

I was wondering if you had your operation by now? My story is alittle differnt than yours.My son has a shunt on the right side of his head, It goes right beside his ear and into his stomach to release pressure from fluid on his brain. He has had it for almost 5 yrs. now and it saved his life.He had to have his shunt put in when he was 2 mo. old do to Shaken Baby Syndrome that caused hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) It saved his life. They tapped his fluid a week before placing the the shunt and it saved his life. He has had no side effects and has a normal life with the shunt that is still working. We just get it tested yearly to make sure it is working properly. I hope everything goes fine for you..

 
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:38 AM   #3
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head1 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

hi there, i have iih and small ventricles and just over a month ago i had my vp shunt insertion.unfortuanetely the op went wrong and i had a massive bleed and got no further with the shunt due to this.but basically i had a hole drilled thru the skull just above my fringe line and one behind my ear and would have had a cut to the stomach.the shunt is inerted into the ventricles and then behind the ear and thru the skin down into the abdomen.
sorry i cant respond to the other questions as mine failed and i am know havin a lumbar shunt inserted soon.

 
Old 05-12-2006, 02:33 PM   #4
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mcoffey42 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

I know this a little late. But I am wondering if you have had your surgery and how things went?
Did you have a VP shunt?
I am a 43yr old female that was diagnosed with psuedo tumor cerbri a year ago this past Jan.

MY ICP was extremely high and had Preesure behind my eyes. My first surgery was March of 05 developed infection second surgery was May 17,2005
3rd surgery was Oct 05.
I still have headaches but not as bad as before. It has taken a long time to "feel better" since my body had went through so much in such a short time.

No matter what once you have Hydro it can only be managed not cured. And a normal life is easily attained. Once you have your shunt within 6 months you should be as good as new. Stay positive......


 
Old 05-16-2006, 04:23 PM   #5
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nanny264 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoffey42
I know this a little late. But I am wondering if you have had your surgery and how things went?
Did you have a VP shunt?
I am a 43yr old female that was diagnosed with psuedo tumor cerbri a year ago this past Jan.

MY ICP was extremely high and had Preesure behind my eyes. My first surgery was March of 05 developed infection second surgery was May 17,2005
3rd surgery was Oct 05.
I still have headaches but not as bad as before. It has taken a long time to "feel better" since my body had went through so much in such a short time.

No matter what once you have Hydro it can only be managed not cured. And a normal life is easily attained. Once you have your shunt within 6 months you should be as good as new. Stay positive......

I had a shunt "installed" last Wednesday. I am experiencing some pain still but it is bearable.
Three times? Infections both times? How long to develop? Were the symptoms a fever?
I am 64 and the proceedure was for normal pressure Hydrocephalus. My husband and I are hoping that it will improve my balance and gate/walking.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 04:18 PM   #6
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Leesa1 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid)

Hi Tr3,
I also have Hydrocephalus and a crimped brain stem.
I've also had confusion, inability to perform to potential, headaches, dizziness, confusion. I've had an MRI a year ago, going back again to discuss a shunt.

In regards to your questions, I haven't had a shunt yet so I don't know what it is like, however from my knowledge I do understand why many neurosurgeons try to avoid putting in shunts.

A shunt tries to eleviate the problem of pressure (if any) to prevent the complications you've been having. However a shunt can cause more complications such as blockage of the shunt, the body has to adapt to having an artificial device, more headaches etc. For a normal person, the Cerebrospinal fluid gets recycled back to the body, and the ventricle manufactures CSF again and the whole process starts again. For a person with Hydrocephlalus as you mentioned, accumulates in the ventricles and for some reason, perhaps the cerebral aqueduct becomes blocked and the fluid cannot be drained back. When a person has a shunt, an incision is made in either the stomach or heart, and the fluid therefore is drained from the shunt back to the body, how it normally should.

I am sorry if this doesn't help, but so far...that's all I am aware of.

 
Old 04-08-2007, 04:27 PM   #7
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johnc42 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

Dear Leesa1,
I hope your shunt placement went well. I am a 43 year old male who
has been shunt dependent since the age of seven. I have had 10 shunt
revision surgeries to correct blockage. If you need to talk let me know. P.S. Not everybody needs 10 shunt revisions

Last edited by johnc42; 04-08-2007 at 04:35 PM.

 
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

Hi - This is my first time of message boarding so forgive me if I'm slow to the process. Our Mom is 80 years old and was just diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. Her Neurosurgeon suggested the shunt operation to relieve the fluid. She is very nervous and afraid but is opened to listening to anyone that has gone through the operation and if there is a noticable change in the quality of life. I appreciate any feedback. Thank you, a very concerned daughter.

Last edited by ecg1926; 04-19-2007 at 09:14 AM.

 
Old 05-02-2007, 08:36 AM   #9
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kare4me HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

Hi,

I personally do not have a Shunt, but I was diagnosed with PTC which is Pseudotumor Cerebri or in other words Inracranial Hypertension I take medication to control my symtoms. Shunts are a normal procedure with this disorder I was just recently diagnosed, and not sure if I will have a shunt.

I wish you the best in your surgery, please feel free to ask any questions I would be happy to support you in any way. I wish you the best.

Karianne

Last edited by moderator2; 05-02-2007 at 09:38 AM.

 
Old 05-05-2007, 05:09 AM   #10
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lillalion HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

Hi there, I've been having strange problems especially with my eyes, feel very spacey and also have often pressure behind one or both eyes. Don't really have headaches though. Any idea if I could have an increased ICP or Hydrocephalus or are headaches a necessary symptom? According to my eye doctor my eyes are pretty much fine...he didn't say anything about increased pressure there.
Any idea will be much appreciated and best of luck to you!

 
Old 05-09-2007, 06:06 PM   #11
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Pat_S HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

eg1926 -

I'm sorry I'm so late seeing your post about your mother's Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. I hope you are still checking for responses.

My father had undiagnosed Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus for years. He had shunt surgery 4.5 years ago at the age of 80, and has done very well. He's able to live alone, drive to the grocery store, park, barber shop, etc.

It took him about a week to recover from the general anesthetic and adjust to the changes in his brain, but he had very little discomfort from the actual surgery.

The only health problems he's had since surgery have been unrelated, but when he has any kind of infection (most urinary tract, but also gallbladder), all of his NPH symptoms return. We know to watch for any changes.

No surgery is without risks, and this especially is true of elderly people. However, the path without surgery is predictable, and it's not good. There's a good chance for improvement with no complications. My dad considers it a miracle that, at 84, he's so active and independent.

I hope this helps!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ecg1926 View Post
Hi - This is my first time of message boarding so forgive me if I'm slow to the process. Our Mom is 80 years old and was just diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. Her Neurosurgeon suggested the shunt operation to relieve the fluid. She is very nervous and afraid but is opened to listening to anyone that has gone through the operation and if there is a noticable change in the quality of life. I appreciate any feedback. Thank you, a very concerned daughter.

Last edited by Pat_S; 05-09-2007 at 06:16 PM. Reason: To make it clear to whom I'm replying.

 
Old 05-13-2007, 06:54 AM   #12
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pepper555 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

Hi, I was wondering if you could offer any advice for me. I am 33wks pregnant and told that at my 21wk scan my baby's laterial ventrial of brain was enlarged measuring 1cm, I had a follow up scan at 32wks and was told it was still enlarged at 9mm. My doctor won't tell me what this means as he doesn't want to worry me.. Can any1 help?

 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:04 PM   #13
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k_c_lady HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

I am in the same boat as you Pepper. However, i have twins & they both have mild ventriculomegaly. Baby a at 10.5 & baby b at 10.8. Baby B has gotten worse in the last week & baby A just developed this extra fluid in the last week.
We are trying to find out as much info as we can. I am only 20 weeks along. But the way the doctors talk, it isn't good for my babies.

Pepper, how are things going now? You posted over a month ago? How is your baby?

Kc

 
Old 07-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #14
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Kate78 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

My eye doctor never saw the pressure. It was found on an MRI, and so if you are really xperiencing these problems, ask for an MRI. Hope it all works out.

 
Old 07-26-2007, 06:54 PM   #15
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Kate78 HB User
Re: Brain Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus (Enlarged Ventricles Caused by Excess Fluid

My shunt saved my life. I was undiagnosed for almost 5c years, whereas my quality of life went way down hill. After having my first surgery, my grades in school improved dramatically and so did my balance as well as coordination. Shunt surgery isn't fun, I have had 4 revisions, and being as I am still young, they feel as though they may need to do more. My first surgery was done at age 17, I am now 29 and the last time I had my surgery, they used a diifferent type of tube. Make sure to ask about the tubes they will be using to drain. If they use one that will drain the fluid too fast, it could cause more problems. Plus there are or so I have been told, several types of tubes/connections. Hope this helps, and Good Luck!! Kate

 
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