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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt

Alternate Names : VP Shunt

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt is a surgical procedure in which a tube or catheter is inserted into the ventricles, or cavities, in the brain to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid into the abdomen.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

This procedure is performed on persons who have enlarged ventricles as a result of increased fluid in the brain. The procedure is commonly performed on infants with hydrocephalus, also known as water on the brain. However, it may be performed in other persons with brain tumors, normal pressure hydrocephalus, or head injuries.

How is the procedure performed?

A small incision is made just behind and above the right ear. A hole is drilled in the skull, and the covering of the brain called the dura is opened. A plastic tube or catheter is placed into the ventricle. A second incision is made in the right side of the abdomen and a second catheter is placed in the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity. A tunnel is made under the skin between the two incisions and the second catheter is brought up to the first catheter. The two catheters are then attached to a one-way valve. This allows the fluid to drain when the pressure in the brain becomes too high. The two incisions are closed.


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Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt: Preparation & Expectations

Author: James Warson, MD
Reviewer: Donna Lester, RN, PHN, BSN, CCM
Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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